Ireland warns it will fire top bankers found unfit

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The Independent Online

Ireland has put the directors of its state-supported banks on notice that they will be sacked if they are found to be unfit for the job.

The country's central bank has given executive and non-executive directors at the banks until 1 January to jump before they are pushed "to allow them an opportunity to make their plans accordingly".

Ireland's banks have replaced their chief executives after reckless lending and shoddy governance brought them close to collapse and forced the Government into accepting a humiliating bail-out.

But senior figures who played a part in the banks' boom and near-bust are still in place, including Richie Boucher, the chief executive of Bank of Ireland, who headed retail banking in the last years of the property bubble.

Matthew Elderfield, who runs financial regulation at the Central Bank of Ireland, said: "We will pay particular regard to the actions of individuals who may have contributed to a financial institution being forced to seek government financial assistance."

In the UK, Sir Fred Goodwin was removed from Royal Bank of Scotland and his investment banking head, Johnny Cameron, was barred from senior jobs at financial firms.

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