The panel that advises the Financial Regulator on consumer issues called for the resignation of all non-executive board members of the regulator and the Central Bank in response to wrongdoing at Anglo Irish Bank, according to minutes of meetings held earlier this year.
In a meeting held in late February, shortly after it emerged that Anglo engaged in circular transactions with Irish Life & Permanent to hide a liquidity crisis, the members of the consumer panel prepared a submission to the acting chief executive, Mary O'Dea, outlining their concerns about the state of Irish financial regulation. The panel resolved that its call for resignations "would be dependent on the Financial Regulator's reply".
Among the issues highlighted in the submission was the belief that "it would be inappropriate for the Financial Regulator to investigate the Irish Life & Permanent/Anglo Irish Bank transaction in circumstances where it was being alleged that the Financial Regulator gave the nod to the deal".
At the time the Sunday Tribune had published documents disclosing that the regulator had not raised objections to the €7.5bn in transactions, even though its officials were aware they were occurring.
The panel also complained in a submission to both O'Dea and Jim Farrell, the chairman of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, that the consumer panel had been suspended for five months – from September 2008 to February 2009 – and not reappointed by the finance minister Brian Lenihan "in a time of great banking/financial crisis".
Minutes from a follow-up meeting in early March show the panel was "disappointed" with the regulator's response to the submission, especially as it failed to address "the panel's lack of confidence in the Financial Regulator".
Another meeting took place in early April, but the minutes are not yet available. Neither the panel nor the regulator comment publicly on correspondence between the two bodies.
Meanwhile, it has also emerged that the new chairman of the Financial Regulator's industry panel, former IL&P chairman David Went, upbraided senior officials at the Department of Finance in early March over their failure to consult with the panel on the future structure of the regulator – "the most significant current issue on the industry agenda", according to minutes of the panel's March meeting.
A subcommittee of the panel did attend a ministerial briefing regulatory restructuring that month. It is understood members of the panel remain concerned at the lack of consultation, however.