FEW ESCAPE CRITICISM IN BANK CRISIS REPORT - The Irish Times says draft findings of the Nyberg commission of investigation show that 'group think' and a 'herd instinct' which forced the banks to chase profits made by Anglo Irish Bank were among the causes of the banking crisis.

The paper says the commission has, however, concluded that it is difficult to assign blame more specifically for the crisis as many parties share some degree of responsibility.

Led by former Finnish civil servant Peter Nyberg, the commission has found there was a general view that property prices would continue rising and that when the property market turned, there would be a 'soft landing'.

The Irish Times says few escape criticism in Nyberg's draft conclusions. The banks, the Government, the Financial Regulator and the media are mentioned as being responsible for the crisis.

The paper says the commission, which is due to forward its final report to the Minister for Finance later this month, has circulated draft findings to parties interviewed during the six-month investigation.


HSBC HAS €1.8 BILLION IRISH EXPOSURE - The Irish Independent says HSBC, the world's sixth largest bank, has disclosed an exposure to Ireland's banks and government of $2.6 billion (€1.8 billion) but the lender says it is closely managing its investments in Ireland and other peripheral economies.

The paper quotes new filings which say the lender, currently headquartered in London, says it has a total of $400m (€290m) lent out to the Irish sovereign and related entities, with $2.2 billion (€1.6 billion) extended to Irish banks.

The Indo says the names of the institutions were not disclosed, but the holdings were registered at the year ending 2010.

Across Europe, HSBC has exposures to peripheral governments of $8.4 billion (€6.1 billion), but when banks in these countries are added this figure rises to $25.4 billion (€18.4 billion).

Some of the exposure to Ireland is through derivative contracts and inter-bank lending. The bank's exposure to Ireland is almost twice the size of its exposure to Greece.


FORMER RBS CHIEF HAS 'SUPER-INJUNCTION' - British newspapers report that Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has obtained a secret super-injunction banning the publication of information about him.

The Daily Telegraph says the existence of the injunction was revealed by John Hemming, a back-bench Liberal Democrat MP, during a business debate in the House of Commons yesterday morning.

The paper says his comments are protected by parliamentary privilege, which means he cannot face court proceedings for revealing the injunction's existence.

The Telegraph says his question raised speculation yesterday about the nature of the information which Sir Fred is trying to protect.


UK REPORTS RISE TRIGGERS COST CONCERNS - The Financial Times reports that the UK's Financial Services Authority has revealed that record numbers of UK financial firms have been forced to hire accounting firms or other outside experts in order to investigate potential problems and their inner workings.

In the fiscal year ending this month, the City watchdog has ordered 140 companies to commission and pay for 'skilled persons' reports' on areas such as capital adequacy, governance and complaint handling.

The FT says that is up nearly 60% on the prior year and dwarfs the 18 reports ordered in 2006-2007. The paper says the reports, generally conducted by a Big Four accounting firm, often recommend important changes in procedures and policies at the target company.

It says the rising use of reports has stimulated argument in the City, largely because of the costs. The average cost of a report in 2009-2010, the most recent figure available, was £128,000. The most expensive probe amounted to £4.4m.