Members of the Oireachtas banking inquiry have been formally informed that the European Central Bank will not be attending.

In a letter to the inquiry, ECB President Mario Draghi said as a European institution the ECB is primarily held to account by the European Parliament.

Mr Draghi added that the ECB does not see itself in a position to participate in inquiries conducted by national parliaments and therefore cannot appoint a dedicated contact person.

He also said the ECB has published a number of documents on its website to provide additional information and to illustrate macroeconomic developments in Ireland over recent years.

These include correspondence between Jean Cluade Trichet and former minister for finance Brian Lenihan and legal opinions.

The chairman of the committee, Ciarán Lynch, said he would be writing to the ECB to ask it to reconsider its position and that the inquiry would be considering its options on the matter

Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath described the development as a serious blow given the central role of the ECB.