The Central Bank's new Director of Credit Institutions Supervision has said that while the financial sector is in the process of moving from a crisis management to a crisis prevention phase, it is happening at a time when we are still managing the aftershocks of the crisis itself.

Ed Sibley, who was appointed in April, made his comments in his first speech in the role at a Grant Thornton industry event in Dublin today.

Mr Sibley noted that good progress has been made in the banking sector since the crisis, but that the sector remains fragile and vulnerable to reversal. 

"Having the crisis so close in the rear view mirror, and in some aspects still with us, means that we have daily reminders of the human and economic cost of it. We cannot have a repeat," he stated. 

On non-performing loans, Mr Sibley said that while some progress has been achieved, the high level of arrears was a continued symptom of the crisis.

He also warned that they were the tip of a very large iceberg, with the even higher level of restructured commercial and mortgage debt the rest of the iceberg sitting below the surface.

The Central Bank executive also said that cultural issues are frequently linked with firm failures, adding that the Central Bank will undertake behaviour and culture inspections in the Irish banks in due course.