Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan has said there will have to be changes in personnel at the top of Irish banks and the regulatory system.

Speaking on RTÉ Morning Ireland on Christmas Eve, Mr Ryan said systems that were in place had failed.

A new culture of management in the regulatory system, the Central Bank and the commercial banks is now urgently required, he added.

The minister said clear lessons have to be learned from the past 15-20 years, and those systems and personnel responsible for the current state of Irish banking will be replaced.

He said that included the system of pay and bonuses which he said has encouraged bad lending practices - giving top earners 100 times more than those workers at the bottom of the ladder.

The minister said the Green Party had been fully engaged in banking reform and predicted that the public would see fundamental changes in values, practices and personnel in the New Year.

He insisted that the banks are not getting a soft or easy deal, but will face root-and-branch reform which will benefit the sector and the economy.

The minister added that renewed confidence in Irish banking would also have to be promoted internationally.