It is far too premature to be saying that just because we have proper regulators and central bank/Nama chiefs in place that we can expect to see the end of our banking and property woes.

But I think it is fair to say that we are now seeing the beginning of the end of our tribulations if we let them do their jobs and they stay on course.

The Central Bank is undergoing major reform under its new head, Professor Patrick Honohan.

Matthew Elderfield, the new Financial Regulator, is undertaking a root and branch clean-out of that dysfunctional agency and is even recruiting a few hundred more staff to help finally set up a proper structure of regulation and governance in place.

And Nama boss Brendan McNamara is revealing the mess – warts and all – that he has been handed by the insolvent banks and a Government which fudged the figures for so long, trying to kid themselves and us that Nama would actually turn a profit in 10 years.

We may not be undergoing as formal as process as other countries that set up ‘truth and reconciliation’ bodies that allow all the dirty linen to be examined in public but this is still progress.

So what does it mean to the ordinary man and woman in the street?

As Mr Elderfield told an Oireachtas committee last week, tighter scrutiny of how banks do their business means that the excesses of the past will not happen again, at least not on his watch.

But requiring, as he does, that the banks keep more money in reserves – between seven to eight per cent of all loans – means that the cost that we pay for our loans will go up.

See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.