This letter was printed in the Irish Independent on Monday 4th Jan. The bank crisis and corporate governance issue is one I will not let go of!
An inquiry into the causes, culprits and consequences of the Irish Banking Crisis is necessary.
If indeed there were illegalities of corporate governance committed, the public must see the rule of law upheld if only to preserve the credibility of law and order itself.
If misdemeanours of imprudence or bad judgement were committed, the public would be reassured if the right people were shown to be "accountable" if only to preserve some credibility for a future banking system.
Any bank now asking ordinary creditors to put themselves under duress to honour loan liabilities must apply new standards and ethics to its own practices.
Mr Cowen is incorrect that a banking inquiry would weaken confidence on the international markets. A new style of corporate governance and financial regulation would reassure and stabilise markets.
A tribunal style banking inquiry would not be appropriate on cost grounds alone. However a cross party Oireachtas inquiry, chaired by an international and neutral figure should be considered. An EU inquiry into the entire eurozone's banking practices, past and future, might also be useful.
Public discourse on this issue needs to continue as the aims and format of such an inquiry would be crucial from the outset. A facebook page has been set up" Call to investigate the banking crisis". Our banks customers, depositors, shareholders and the nation's tax payers need a say in the banking system we want to have.
Chairman Kildare Chamber of Commerce,
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