Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has told the Dáil that the former director general for financial services in Finland's Ministry of Finance, Peter Nyberg, is to head up the Commission of Investigation into the banking crisis.

Mr Nyberg was director general for financial services at the Finnish Ministry of Finance, having held the position since 1998.

In this position he was responsible for financial market legislation, for financial stability issues and for Finland's engagement with international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

He has also had significant experience of participating in European Union financial and economic policy groups.

Mr Nyberg was head of office at Bank of Finland, in the Foreign Exchange Policy and Financial Markets Department.

He was also senior economist at the IMF responsible for analysis and forecasting for a number of European Countries, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Lenihan sticks to position on bank decisions

The Government yesterday agreed to widen the scope for the Commission to cover as far back as 2003.

The period to be examined will now extend from January 1 2003 to January 15 2009 for the Commission's examination of those banks that are covered by the Government's Guarantee. January 15 2009 is the date on which Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised.

But in the Dáil today, Minister Lenihan repeated the Government's view that some of its decisions on the banking crises were 'fundamentally political in nature'. He said these were not amenable to an investigation whose purpose is to make findings of fact.

'The Government will not be changing its position on that point and there are no good reasons for it to do so,' he said.

But the Minister said the commission could look at whether any advice or directions given by the Department of Finance to the Financial Regulator were in any way relevant to its failure to perform its supervisory functions.