Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes named Banking and Payments Federation Ireland CEO

6 Nov 2018

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes addressing the European Parliament during the Banking Union annual report in 2017. Image: © Javiar Bernal Revert/European Parliament

Current Fine Gael MEP and former Junior Minister Brian Hayes revealed in a surprising twist that he will exit politics to take up the role of CEO at the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has today announced that he will not be contesting next year’s European Parliament elections as he has been appointed CEO at the Banking and Payments Federation (BPFI) Ireland.

The MEP, who previously served as Minister of State at the Department of Finance from 2011 to 2014, said in an interview on RTÉ Radio 1 show Today with Sean O’Rourke that he will take up his new role after May 2019.

In a statement released on Hayes’ Twitter account, the politician thanked An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD, for “understanding and respecting” his decision. Hayes also noted in interview that he and Varadkar “both shared an ambition to be out of politics by the age of 50”.

Hayes continued: “I am taking this decision for family and professional reasons. There is life after politics.”

The BPFI is the main representative body for the banking, payments and financial services sectors in Ireland. It represents more than 70 domestic and international member institutions, including licensed domestic and foreign banks.

Hayes will take over the job from interim CEO Maurice Crowley, who was appointed by the BPFI’s council executive advisory group in June 2018 following the departure of Noel Brett. Brett was appointed to the role in 2013 after serving as CEO of the Road Safety Authority for eight years.

“We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Brian Hayes as the new CEO of Banking and Payments Federation Ireland,” commented Jonathon Lowey, president of BPFI. “His numerous posts over the past decade, including deputy Finance Minister in 2011, vice-president of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and the EPP vice-coordinator on the ECON Committee, make him the ideal candidate for the position.

“A natural leader, Brian has a track record of delivering on his commitments and overseeing the delivery of complex legislation and developing long-term relationships with key stakeholders, both at home and abroad.”

Hayes stated that there are “great challenges and opportunities” in the finance and banking industry at the moment, “especially around the questions of trust and confidence in Irish banks”.

He added: “Central to Ireland’s continued economic comeback must be a healthy, sustainable and customer-focused banking industry.”

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic