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ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane’s cosy chats with big banks fails transparency test – MEP MacManus

2 December, 2020 - by Chris MacManus MEP

ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane’s cosy chats with big banks fails transparency test – MEP MacManus

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said reports of European Central Bank Chief Economist Philip Lane accommodating big banks with private calls following ECB policy meetings shows a distinct failure under the transparency test and must end. He was commenting following reports that Mr.Lane has since March routinely facilitated calls with big banks to discuss ECB policy decisions,

MacManus said:

“I am deeply alarmed that Mr.Lane has decided this is an appropriate action for him to be engaged in. There are huge questions around accountability and transparency within the ECB and this latest revelation only adds further to these concerns.”

“It has been rightly pointed out that these meetings could be seen to benefit select players in the world of finance. However, the greater concern for me is the complete lack of transparency and the understandable perception - that this will add to - that the ECB is far too close to big banks and investors.”

The Midlands Northwest MEP expressed dismay at what he described as unaccountability. “As a member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee to which the ECB is accountable to, I am dismayed to hear of such cosiness with unelected and unaccountable corporate interests. The ECB’s accountability to the Parliament usually consists of monthly meetings where a small number of MEPs compete to put short questions to the ECB. Now we hear that cosy private chats with investors are facilitated as a matter of course. These must end.”

MacManus concluded: “I am tabling a formal question to the ECB regarding the nature of these chats and asking if they will cease. Democratic accountability and oversight of the ECB are in short supply. That is a situation which must be reversed, Mr Lane’s actions have unfortunately added to the problem. They fail the transparency test and these backroom chats must end.” ENDS

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