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Matt Carthy MEP welcomes EU Ombudsman probe into Draghi’s links with bankers

20 January, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has welcomed EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly’s decision to open an investigation into the links between ECB President Mario Draghi and the G30 group, which includes top private and public bankers and leaders of some of the world’s largest financial institutions.

 Carthy, a member of the Economic and monetary Affairs Committee, said: “This is an important move by the Ombudsman and comes in response to a complaint lodged by the Corporate Europe Observatory.

 “The complaint outlines serious concerns over potential conflicts of interest between Mr Draghi’s role as ECB president and his role in the G30 organisation, of which he is a full member. Other ECB members, including a member of its supervisory board, are also associated with the G30.

 “Incredibly, the former long-serving ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, who is now the chairperson of the G30, has been nominated as the chairperson of the ECB’s Ethics Committee.

 “The most serious concern is that the ECB is now charged with directly supervising many of the financial institutions that are represented in the G30, including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and many more. There is no system in place to ensure an ethically appropriate level of distance between the ECB decision-making and supervisory processes and their friends in the G30 bankers’ club.

 “There is no way to ensure that the ECB members involved in the G30 do not provide confidential information on future policy decisions, for example, to private bankers in the G30.

 Carthy continued: “The ECB is charged with monetary policy and its quantitative easing policy and other initiatives it has taken in response to the financial crisis have often benefited private banks. There is no way to ensure that the private bankers and finance CEOs of the G30 do not influence ECB policy.

 “When the G30 speaks about the global economy and public policy on banking and finance, it speaks with one voice. So we have the ECB being directly associated with policy recommendations shaped by private bankers and finance giants.

 “The membership of ECB figures in the G30 is entirely inappropriate. It adds yet another layer to the total lack of accountability and transparency in the ECB, and it is clearly at odds with the supposed independence of the ECB.

“I welcome this Ombudsman investigation and hope that it helps to brings about increased transparency around the ECB decision-making processes that affect everyone in the EU.”

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