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Friday, 12th April 2024
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Listening to the industry Back  
As chief executive of the Irish Bankers Federation, keeping in touch with both industry members and policy makers is a key element of Pat Farrell’s day.
6.45 a.m. Shower, shave and dress. Then catch the radio news headlines, and scan the morning newspapers online. Breakfast is a bowl of porridge. Margaret (she who must be obeyed) tells me it’s the perfect fuel for the start of the day as it’s a slow release energy food.
Pat Farrell, chief executive of the Irish Bankers Federation

7.30 a.m. Into the car and flick between RT?’s Morning Ireland, the Breakfast show with Eamon Dunphy on Newstalk 106 and Today FM to get a sense of the big issues of the day. Then it’s a quick commute from Sandymount to the IBF offices in Nassau Street (apart from every second week when I am on the school run with son Cian).

7.45 a.m. Log on to computer. Check and reply to emails and review the schedule for the day. Grab a cup of coffee and look through the morning papers. Positive coverage of the implementation of the Federation’s Account Switching Code. The Code was developed over many months with member institutions and the numbers - 5,000 customers have already switched using the Code, and hundreds more are intending to do so every week - clearly shows its value.

8.15 a.m. Meet with Celine McPherson, our new finance and admin head. Looking forward to working with her on the team. Plan to meet again later in the week to discuss IBF strategy and plans.

8.45 a.m. Co-ordination meeting with my PA Claire Broderick to review my diary, I brief Claire on my schedule for the week and plan upcoming meetings. Recap on the notes of IBF leadership team meeting and follow up actions. This is my weekly meeting with the team to review projects, and address emerging issues.

10.00 a.m. Phone call from Minister Brennan’s office seeking to arrange a meeting with the Department of Social and Family Affairs regarding the promotion of financial access and inclusion. Happy to meet as it provides the opportunity to clarify many aspects of this agenda not least being the major role which government can play in addressing the issues.

10.30 a.m. Speak on phone with Diarmuid Bradley, president of the IBF. We keep in touch during the week outside of our regular scheduled meetings.

11.00 a.m. Meet with Felix O’Regan, head of PR & communications, to discuss developments in the IBF’s public affairs work programme. An important part of the programme involves regular meetings with our stakeholders – ranging through regulators, government, politicians, and interest groups.

12.00 p.m. Discuss the details of this morning’s Tax Seminar for members with Cathrine Burke, who is head of accounting and taxation).

12.30 p.m. Speak on the phone with Mike Ryan, chairman of the Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI), about the recent meeting with the office of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, which focused on promoting Ireland as a preferred location for international financial services. Building on the success of the recently-launched FIBI marketing pack, which was officially launched by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, TD, the IBF and FIBI are committed to further growth in the international banking sector, which has contributed so much to the Irish economy. It will be important to maintain the momentum, and we agree to schedule a round of meetings with key influencers.

1.15 p.m. Quick lunch. The lunch is grabbed on the run and it has to accommodate an ‘emergency’ dental appointment and collection of Cian’s mobile phone from repair centre.

2.00 p.m. Brief leadership team meeting on a recent Executive Committee Meeting of the European Banking Federation (FBE). Under the auspices of the FBE, which represents all commercial banks across Europe, we meet regularly with our colleagues to prepare common positions on key policy issues and to examine EU legislative and regulatory initiatives. These contacts enable us to monitor and influence developments at a European level and to draw on the wider FBE experience and expertise when dealing with domestic issues.

3.00 p.m. Quick review with the architects who are planning for our office refurbishment.

3.30 p.m. Prepare for presentation at the International Centre for Insurance Studies conference Towards Setting ‘Best of World’ Standards in Irish Financial Services, which will be chaired by Professor Ray Kinsella at the National College of Ireland later this month.

4.00 p.m. Meet with Deirdre Casey, public affairs officer, to review arrangements for June’s Global Finance Conference, which will be hosted by the Institute for International Integration Studies in the beautiful and historic campus of Trinity College Dublin, with the IBF as premier sponsor.

4.15 p.m. Prepare for meeting with member bank. Review presentation for meeting tomorrow with member bank as a regular feature of our relationship management programme.

5.30 p.m. Off to Sandwith Street for the official opening by An Taoiseach of IIB Bank’s very impressive new head office. It is a great vote of confidence in the sector and its future.

6.30p.m. Attend Rose Project meeting. I am on the committee organising a fund raising breakfast next week with Bill Clinton as guest speaker. We aim to raise a considerable sum to fund the charity’s ongoing work with communities in Africa affected by AIDS.

8.00p.m. Home and eat with Margaret. Just now remember forgot to do an errand in town for my daughter Ria. Hectic day so forgiveness secured with promise to make good tomorrow.

11.00p.m. Zzzzzzzz!

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