28th Jun 2022

Ethics committee forces resignation of ex-commissioner from investment bank

Ex-commissioner Charlie McCreevy has been forced to resign from a UK investment bank's executive board after a European Commission ethics committee raised concerns over a possible conflict of interest.

It is the first time the ethics committee, regularly criticised by anti-corruption watchdogs as a soft touch, has netted itself a scalp of a former commissioner.

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  • Mr McCreevy has been forced to give up one of his new directorships (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

In a brief statement issued on Thursday night, NBNK Investments announced Mr McCreevy's resignation: "Following a dialogue with the European Commission, it has not been possible to find a way in which Mr McCreevy can continue with his directorship of NBNK in a manner compatible with his standard responsibilities as a former European Commissioner."

"In the circumstances, Mr McCreevy has resigned from the board with immediate effect in order to comply fully with his obligations."

However, according to the commission, the committee found the position to represent a conflict of interest on 24 August this year.

It was only this week, after the commission warned Mr McCreevy that the full college of commissioners was on the verge of taking a "negative decision" against him that the Irishman stepped down from NBNK.

According to the bank's website, the company had recently been founded to create "a new and substantial" high-street bank. The investment group is seeking to acquire a number of financial institutions that have been spun off from their parent firms in the wake of the economic crisis in keeping as demanded by Brussels competition rulings.

The ex-commissioner, who had been responsible for overseeing the bloc's internal market, would have netted from NBNK €61,000 a year initially and €122,000 following the group's first acquisition. The job would have been just one of a string of directorships and advisory positions Mr McCreevy has nabbed after leaving the EU executive.

Earlier this year, the body gave Mr McCreevy the green light after his hiring by low-cost Irish airline Ryanair.

In response, the bank said: "The board of NBNK Investments respects and understands his position."

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