The Central Bank is cutting its panel of assessors by two-thirds this year after the consultants, paid to be available to help resolve disputes, were left idle for years. The panel, made up of financial industry experts, will shrink to just four members from 12 just over a year ago as a cost-saving measure by the Central Bank. "The Central Bank of Ireland is concerned that the establishment of a panel has not proven an efficient use of resources," a spokesman said in a statement.

As reported in the Sunday Tribune, the Financial Regulator had been paying panel members €3,000 each per year in retainer fees to assess market-abuse cases, but had given them no work to do in the three years since they were originally appointed.

The group of legal and regulatory experts was first convened in 2007 to break deadlocks where the Financial Regulator could not reach a settlement with the guilty party in a market-abuse case. The original 12 members collected €36,000 between them annually for doing no panel-related work, as the regulator was able to impose agreements and sanctions without their help.