Regulator: more expertise

The Financial Regulator is to spend up to €8m on external consultants over the next four years as it beefs up its expertise and carries out more investigations into the banks.

Among other things, the consultants will be involved in forensic IT investigations into possible contraventions of the Market Abuse Directive, which deals with insider dealing and market manipulation, and researching areas such as "the possible large-scale deletion of emails and documents by banks". The data may be used in court after the investigations.

Espion Intelligence, BDO Simpson Xavier, PwC, Deloitte & Touche and Grant Thornton were selected from 11 bidders to serve as the panel from which the forensic IT specialists will be chosen.

Their selection forms part of a wider recruitment of experts by the regulator under the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Act 2008, with which the state guaranteed six banks: Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Life & Permanent, Irish Nationwide Building Society and the Educational Building Society.

Panels of advisers in credit risk, market risk, forensic accounting, outsourced inspections, legal issues, treasury and liquidity, corporate finance and property valuations have also been selected as part of the spend of up to €8m.

Amongst the overseas companies selected are credit and market risk experts Oliver Wyman in London and RiskMetrics Solutions from New York and London-based forensic accounting experts FTI.