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30 January, 2016

Draghi and ECB now even closer to lobbyists from megabanks

In 2015 the European Central Bank tightened its ethics rules in the wake of a major scandal over privileged information it gave to select financiers. In the future there will be more restrictions on the way the leadership associates with representatives of financial corporations. But the discoveries from the scandal seems to have no bearing on the way the ECB's top brass deals with the quasi-lobby Group of Thirty.

In May 2015, a member of the powerful Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) gave confidential information about quantitative easing to a meeting of bankers and academics, with the former seemingly responding swiftly, securing an advantage over competitors. Only a few months later, the ECB adopted new rules on how and when to associate with financial lobbyists and representatives of financial corporations.

It seems a new awareness was borne out of the scandal. Yet, at the same time the ECB involvement with the powerful financial interest group G30 (Group of Thirty) has intensified, and there is no sign this has caused controversy inside the bank. In a letter to Corporate Europe Observatory, the ECB explained that its internal bodies set up to overlook the ethical rules have not even considered the closeness of the central bank's relationship with the G30.

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