Don­nery loses out in bid for top ECB post

Set­back boosts Cen­tral Bank gover­nor Lane’s chances of ECB ex­ec­u­tive role Ma­jor­ity of ECB gov­ern­ing coun­cil mem­bers vote for Ital­ian can­di­date

The Irish Times - Business - - FRONT PAGE - JOE BREN­NAN

Cen­tral Bank deputy gover­nor Sharon Don­nery has been beaten by an Ital­ian econ­o­mist in a com­pe­ti­tion to be­come the next chair­man of the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank’s (ECB) bank­ing su­per­vi­sion arm.

How­ever, the re­sult of the bal­lot by mem­bers of the ECB gov­ern­ing coun­cil yes­ter­day has boosted the odds of Cen­tral Bank gover­nor Philip Lane se­cur­ing an ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tion at the Frank­furt-based or­gan­i­sa­tion next year – as well as Ms Don­nery’s chance of suc­ceed­ing him in Dublin.

A ma­jor­ity of gov­ern­ing coun­cil mem­bers voted in favour of An­drea En­ria, cur­rently the head of the Euro­pean Bank­ing Author­ity (EBA), be­ing in­stalled as the Sin­gle Su­per­vi­sory Mech­a­nism’s (SSM) chair­man from Jan­uary for five years, suc­ceed­ing the out­go­ing head, Danièle Nouy.

The ap­point­ment still needs to be rat­i­fied by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and euro zone gov­ern­ments, the ECB said in a state­ment, con­firm­ing Mr En­ria’s nom­i­na­tion.

Ms Don­nery (46) sur­prised Govern­ment of­fi­cials when she put her name for­ward in Au­gust to lead the SSM, as Min­is­ter for Fi­nance Paschal Dono­hoe is eye­ing an ECB ex­ec­u­tive seat for Mr Lane as the in­sti­tu­tion’s chief econ­o­mist, Peter Praet, re­tires next May. The Repub­lic is the only found­ing mem­ber of the euro zone not to have held an ex­ec­u­tive board po­si­tion at the ECB, and sources had pre­vi­ously in­di­cated that it would be un­likely for a small euro zone coun­try to se­cure two top ECB roles at the same time.

Mr Dono­hoe pulled Prof Lane as a can­di­date for the vice-pres­i­dency of the ECB in Fe­bru­ary as the only other per­son in the race, Spain’s then econ­omy min­is­ter Luis de Guin­dos, had lined up more votes.

With­drawal

The with­drawal was said at the time to count in favour, po­lit­i­cally, of the Repub­lic se­cur­ing the next ex­ec­u­tive ECB po­si­tion, par­tic­u­larly as Prof Lane’s tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise had shone through when both can­di­dates made pre­sen­ta­tions in Fe­bru­ary to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment’s Eco­nomic and Mon­e­tary Af­fairs Com­mit­tee.

Govern­ment sources have said that Ms Don­nery, who had long been hotly tipped as a suc­ces­sor to Prof Lane, would have boosted her chances to be­come the first woman gover­nor of the Cen­tral Bank in the event that she was beaten in the SSM race.

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