The new head of financial regulation has outlined his plans for reforming the supervision of banks.

Matthew Elderfield, who was formerly chief executive of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, took up his new position in January, and made his first public speech to an accountants' lunch in Dublin this afternoon.

Mr Elderfield said he intended to pursue a policy of 'assertive' regulation, backed up by the credible threat of enforcement. He said there would be a need for a 'substantial' increase in resources as a result.

Mr Elderfield said there would not be a 'one size fits all' approach, and more important banks should expect a much more intrusive approach than a smaller financial firm. He said that in the case of a difference of opinion between a bank's management and the regulator on the best approach, he would be prepared to tell the bank: 'just do it'.

He said his strategy would include measures aimed at preventing too much lending from being concentrated in one sector.

Mr Elderfield said he also planned a package of measures on corporate governance including guidelines on pay and tougher requirements for directors of financial firms.