The European Ombudsman today followed Corporate Europe Observatory’s call for European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi to suspend his membership of the Group of 30 (G30). Her recommendations also insist future ECB Presidents stay out of the G30, a financial industry interest group composed of bankers from private financial institutions as well as national central banks.
Corporate Europe Observatory’s complaint regarding Draghi’s G30 membership that launched the Ombudsman’s investigation underlined the vital importance of ECB decision-making bodies avoiding – even the perception of - conflicts of interest, as well as close association with special interest groups.
In CEO's view, the G30 bears too great a resemblance to a lobby group representing vested interests, which renders ECB President Mario Draghi’s membership unacceptable.
Corporate Europe Observatory’s monetary and financial policy researcher Kenneth Haar commented:
“The Ombudsman’s decision is timely and very positive. President Draghi’s involvement with the Group of 30 was ill-advised from the start. Since 2016, when the ECB’s mandate for banking supervision was extended, the close ties between the President and the bankers’ group has become absolutely unacceptable.
“Imbalanced policy consultation at the European Central Bank has made the institution vulnerable to the undue influence of financial industry interests, especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Especially groups like the G30 continue to be used by some of the biggest global banks to push their political agenda.
“Hopefully, the ECB will implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations without hesitation. The next step will be to reform the advisory groups of the ECB, which our research has shown to be dominated by the financial industry.”
Olivier Hoedeman, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 (0)2 893 0930
Notes to Editors:
Read the EU Ombudsman’s recommendations on ECB President Draghi’s membership in the Group of 30.
Read Corporate Europe Observatory's analysis of the Ombudsman's recommendations.
Read Corporate Europe Observatory’s November 2016 complaint, in response to which the EU Ombudsman’s office launched its investigation.
Previous Corporate Europe Observatory analysis of the G30 revealed the group to be much more than a round for discussion. On many occasions, the G30 has stepped in with a political agenda, led by representatives of some of the biggest banks in the world.
In a first decision on an earlier Corporate Europe Observatory complaint on the G30 issue (2013), the Ombudsman saw little reason to act. By November 2016, the ECB’s deepened involvement in monetary policy-making and the extension of its political mandate to more comprehensive banking supervision prompted Corporate Europe Observatory to file a second, re-newed complaint.
Other Corporate Europe Observatory research on the European Central Bank includes analysis of:
the ECB's quantitative easing programme, which has favoured bond purchases from corporations whose activities aggravate climate change.
conflicts of interest in the ECB’s advisory groups, two-thirds of whose members are made up of representatives from the banks and financial institutions subject to the ECB’s supervision.