Financial Regulator Patrick Neary has announced his decision to retire on 31 January.

Mr Neary said: 'I am proud of my distinguished career spanning almost 40 years as a public servant who acted at all times in the public interest and it was a great honour for me to serve as Chief Executive of the Financial Regulator.

'In taking my decision to retire now, I am conscious of the need to uphold the good standing of the Regulator and public confidence in it, especially at a time of great financial turbulence which is challenging all regulators worldwide.

'I had deferred a decision about my retirement until the Report of the Committee of the Authority examining the internal communication of matters relating to loans to Directors of Anglo Irish Bank Corporation plc was concluded.

'So far as I am concerned, I was not advised of any such matters in early 2008 and there has been no oral, written or email escalation of these issues to me or to the Authority over the period until the matter was raised with me by the Minister on 10 December 2008.'

Watchdog discusses Anglo probe report

A committee examining the handling of the investigation by the Financial Regulator's office into secret loans to directors at Anglo Irish Bank has completed its report.

The authority overseeing the Financial Regulator met to discuss the contents of the committee's report.

The committee was set up last month after the resignation of Anglo Irish chairman Sean FitzPatrick and chief executive David Drumm.

Mr FitzPatrick resigned after it emerged that over an eight-year period he repeatedly temporarily transferred €87m in loans that he had with Anglo Irish to another bank.