The International Monetary Fund's concern about the independence of the Irish Central Bank was raised as a serious issue at a meeting of the authority's commission in 2014.

The concerns were raised by the IMF in a 2014 report, in which it pointed out that the Department for Finance's secretary general sat on authority's commission, while the minister of the day also had the broad power to dismiss other members.

The report was undertaken by the IMF to see if the Irish banking sector met the Basel Core Principles on which the European Central Bank's supervisory powers would be based.

In the February 2014 meeting the Deputy governor Cyril Roux pointed out that Ireland had been found 'materially non-compliant' with four of those principles.

He added that the issue relating to the bank's independence "was largely an issue for Government."

Commission member Des Geraghty described the finding regarding independence as "serious" and said it was important to address the matter clearly in any response. 

Then governor Patrick Honohan added that the bank had already written to the Minister for Finance about this matter as it had been raised by the IMF at the start of the Troika programme.

Meanwhile, in another meeting in 2015 Mr Geraghty said he was "somewhat concerned" about public comments the Central Bank made on wage negotiations where the bank's position was consistently one of "wage restraint."

Mr Geraghty said wage increases, particularly at low levels, could have a positive impact on productivity.

The bank's chief economist Gabriel Fagan said the comments by the Central Bank highlighted the need to take competitiveness into account in wage setting rather than arguing for specific rates of wage increase.  
 

At another meeting in 2015 the board discussed issuing contracts to employees who were critical to the functioning of the bank but who might leave to join other companies.

The meeting heard that the bank wished to issue new contracts to these employees to facilitate a payment of 20% of the annual salary to these staff members to retain them.

The meeting was told the bank would have to make internal and external statements to explain the rationale “once the scheme becomes apparent.”