Matheson Regulatory And Investigations Ezine - Summer 2013

Author:Ms Bríd Munnelly, Michael Byrne and Conor Lavelle

Welcome to the Regulatory and Investigations Summer ezine

In this issue we look at the Central Bank's new enforcement strategy, the proposed extension of Freedom of Information legislation, the increased powers of the Ombudsman and more.

In this Issue

Individuals to be held accountable in regulatory plan The Central Bank of Ireland has revealed in its "Strategic Plan 2013 to 2015" how it proposes to effectively regulate financial institutions in Ireland. New FOI legislation to cover 70 more bodies The Central Bank of Ireland and NAMA are among a number of public bodies that may soon be required to release records under freedom of information legislation. Ombudsman can now be proactive From 1 May 2013, the Ombudsman can investigate a public body even where no complaint has been made. INDIVIDUALS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IN REGULATORY PLAN

By Bríd Munnelly

The Central Bank of Ireland has revealed in its "Strategic Plan 2013 - 2015" how it proposes to effectively regulate financial institutions in Ireland over the next three years. The plan indicates that the Central Bank intends to continue to protect consumers "through risk-based supervision underpinned by a credible threat of enforcement." The Central Bank has said it will continue to use its enforcement powers to the fullest extent. This means holding both individual employees and institutions accountable for regulatory non-compliance. The Central Bank says that if an individual is "at the core" of a suspected breach, they will be held accountable personally.

A range of administrative sanctions are available to the Bank where an individual has committed a regulatory breach. The most severe of these are suspension or removal of the individual from the institution. Criminal sanctions are also available. However, while individuals should ensure that they are fully aware of their statutory obligations, it is likely that the Central Bank will only prosecute an individual in cases involving very serious breaches.

New Legislation to increase fines and encourage whistle-blowers

The Central Bank expects legislation to be introduced in Autumn of this year enabling suspension of a firm for 12 months or the revocation of its ability to practise on foot of a regulatory breach. Financial penalties for breaches will double from €5 million to €10 million or 10% of turnover. The legislation will also provide protection for whistle blowers.

The plan for supervision and enforcement

The Central Bank's...

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