Emily O'Reilly tackles "revolving door" culture at European Banking Authority

European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has commended the European Banking Authority (EBA) for agreeing to introduce the measures she recommended to deal with future revolving door situations. This follows her finding that the EBA should not have allowed its former Executive Director to become CEO of a financial lobby association.

According to the EBA’s reply to the Ombudsman, it is ready to forbid senior staff from taking up certain positions when they leave the EBA in the future.

Shortly after the Ombudsman made her findings of maladministration in this case – in order to demonstrate its commitment to this approach - the EBA prohibited its former Executive Director from taking up another post in the private sector. The EBA has also adopted a new policy for assessing post-employment restrictions and prohibitions for staff. It has in addition put in place procedures to suspend immediately access to confidential information for staff known to be moving to another job.

The Ombudsman’s recommendations followed an inquiry - based on a complaint from Change Finance (a coalition of civil society groups) - into the EBA’s decision to allow its former Executive Director to become CEO of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME).

“The EBA has worked hard to give full effect to the recommendations I issued in this case. I am confident that the wide range of measures it has introduced will help it avoid damaging revolving door moves in the future. Other EU institutions and agencies should draw on these new EBA safeguards when revising their own rules.

I also welcome the European Commission’s decision to put in place a two-year Commission-wide cooling-off period on meetings with the CEO of AFME until 1 February 2022,” said Ms O’Reilly.

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