New President Appointed at the Irish Banking Federation

John Reynolds, Chief Executive of KBC Bank Ireland plc, has been appointed President of the Irish Banking Federation (IBF) for a two-year term.  In that capacity he will also sit on the Board of the Brussels-based European Banking Federation of which IBF is a member.

John has been very active in the affairs of IBF for many years and particularly since taking up the KBC Bank Ireland CEO position in 2009.  His career in banking began in 1980 when he joined ICC, the state development bank.  Five years later he moved to KBC Bank Ireland, where he has held various lending roles over the years.  He joined the bank’s Board in 1996.

A native of Culdaff in Donegal, John is an Economics graduate of Trinity College and holds a Masters Degree in Banking and Finance from UCD.

“I am pleased and honoured to serve as IBF President for the next two years”, John Reynolds stated.  “Notwithstanding the very serious challenges facing our sector, I believe that we have the capacity and the commitment to play our part in driving national economic recovery and in restoring public trust and confidence in our institutions.

During my Presidency I expect a number of the key challenges to include implementing a system of debt reform that appropriately balances the interests of borrower and lender; identifying the new norm for mortgage market activity; providing finance and non-finance supports for viable businesses; and developing a sustainable banking model in Ireland.

In addressing these and the many other challenges that face us I will be conscious of the need to work closely and constructively with all of our stakeholders.”

Head and Shoulders

IBF President, John Reynolds

IBF statement on Government’s Debt Reform Proposals

The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) notes publication today by Government of proposals to introduce non-judicial debt settlement systems, including a Debt Relief Certificate, a Debt Settlement Arrangement and a Personal Insolvency Arrangement. These proposals will be carefully examined in detail by IBF and our member institutions over the coming days.

IBF has consistently supported the case for reform of bankruptcy law and the debt enforcement regime in Ireland. IBF and its member institutions work closely with various agencies – including the Central Bank of Ireland, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) – to help put a range of initiatives in place which assist customers in the management of their debts, while recognising the necessity of maintaining a sustainable credit environment.

In supporting the case for reform, IBF will however be concerned to ensure that a number of important principles are taken into consideration so that the appropriate balance is struck between the interests of debtors and creditors. These include the following:

  •  Distinction should be drawn between the borrower with sustainable debt over the long term and the borrower with unsustainable debt;
  • A prerequisite for treatment of unsustainable debt under personal insolvency should be clear evidence of good faith by the borrower in prior engagement with the creditor;
  • Within the parameters of the new regime each borrower’s situation should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Noting Minister Shatter’s statement that serious consideration will be given to submissions on these proposals, IBF and its members intend to engage constructively with Government around these key principles. In the meantime, IBF’s member banks remain committed to working with customers to help manage mortgage arrears and, wherever possible, keep people in their homes. This work continues to be given priority in all of our member banks.

Note: The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the leading representative body for the banking and financial services sector in Ireland, representing over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Further Information: Felix O’Regan, Director Public Affairs, IBF, tel. 671531, 087 6481644