ECB should have picked some women to run Banca Carige: Enria

February 18, 2019

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank should have picked “a more gender-balanced team” than the six men it appointed to run struggling Italian lender Banca Carige earlier this year but it was also facing time constraints, the ECB’s new top bank supervisor Andrea Enria said on Monday.

The ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism put Carige into “temporary administration” on Jan. 2, just as Enria was taking office, after the bank had failed to raise capital and most of its board had stepped down.

In some of his first public remarks, Enria said he shared the spirit of a complaint over Carige’s all-men line-up by a member of the European Parliament, but added gender considerations cannot always prevail when time is tight.

“It was important that the temporary administrators appointed were able to promptly and effectively perform

the requisite tasks,” Enria said in a letter to Sven Giegold.

“While these requirements were indeed met in the case in question, I share your view that it would have been

preferable to appoint a more gender-balanced team of temporary administrators,” he added.

The SSM retained then Chairman Pietro Modiano and Chief Executive Fabio Innocenzi as Carige’s administrators along with Raffaele Lener, an outside legal expert, while nominating three more men to the bank’s surveillance committee.

The appointment of Enria to replace Daniele Nouy as the head of the SSM has itself been criticized for allowing one of the few top ECB posts held by a woman to go to a man despite there being a strong female candidate.

Giegold was one of three parliamentarians who wrote to ECB President Mario Draghi just before Enria’s appointment to “clarify (their) positive view” of his main rival for the role, Ireland’s deputy central bank governor Sharon Donnery.

The ECB has fallen behind self-imposed targets for women in management positions.

Carige has since received state support and denied last week a report in La Stampa newspaper saying that customers had withdrawn around 3 billion euros worth of deposits.

(Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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