'The system had to be protected - that was the mantra'

'The system had to be protected - that was the mantra'

This article was originally published by Independent.

Karl Deeter, Irish Mortgage Brokers: “Whatever people say about his performance as a governor, on the consumer protection side he oversaw some of the worst regulation in the modern western world, particularly the ban on repossessions, the unworkable code of conduct on mortgage arrears, and the fact that Ireland has a persistent arrears problem unlike any other developed country in the world.

They show an unwillingness to deal with some of the hard issues surrounding the issue of arrears. Basically everything was a delay tactic.”

Bernard Byrne, AIB chief executive, inset: “Patrick led the Central Bank at a time of great turbulence in the Irish and international financial markets. Regardless of the scale of the difficulties, he always demonstrated strong leadership and the banking sector in Ireland returned to stability on his watch.”

Ronan Lyons, assistant professor of economics, Trinity College: “He brought a much-needed academic curiosity and appetite into the Central Bank.

It is true that the Central Bank had lots of researchers before his time as governor, but the very top of the institution wasn’t interested in rigorous academic and quality analysis. He, and Stefan Gerlach, brought that into the bank.”

David Hall, Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation: “You couldn’t say he wasn’t accessible or engaging, he absolutely was. But the intent was to protect the system, the system had to be protected, and that was the mantra.

Anything that helped to protect banks over customers, unfortunately, was, the legacy under Professor Honohan. And while fuelled by good intentions and talk of great difficulties, it just didn’t work for consumers. There was no substantive change made to assist consumers.”

Dermot O’Leary, economist with Goodbody Stockbrokers:

“While some criticise his decision to inform the nation of an impending bailout in 2010, this was necessary in light of the fragile banking situation at that time, with a serious threat of a bank run. One criticism would be the in ability of the Central Bank to foresee the scale of the capital requirements in the banking system, which had to be dealt with on a number of occasions, culminating in the stress test exercise of early 2011.”