A New Age Of Enforcement - Administrative Sanctions On The Rise

Author:Ms Carina Lawlor and Bríd Munnelly
Profession:Matheson Ormsby Prentice

It has certainly been a busy year for the Enforcement Directorate of the Central Bank of Ireland ("CBI"). A new regime of tougher regulation was signalled by the CBI's Director of Enforcement, Peter Oakes, in his introduction to the CBI's Enforcement Strategy 2011-2012 guide in December 2010, which contained one particular sentence indicating a major shift in the approach adopted by the CBI: "Once we commence an enforcement case, you can assume that a proportionate and robust sanction is likely to follow under our administrative sanction powers." The CBI's Deputy Governor with responsibility for Financial Regulation, Matthew Elderfield, also made his intentions clear, promising to develop a "framework of assertive risk-based supervision underpinned by a credible threat of enforcement action", a position which has been reiterated in Consultation Paper 57, published on 25 November 2011, on forthcoming new guidelines on CBI inquiries.

This "credible threat of enforcement action" has been borne out by action, particularly since the start of 2011, which has seen a steady stream of new administrative sanction actions being pursued by the CBI against regulated entities. While exact figures showing the number of new actions commenced are not publically available, 2011 has seen a very even spread of settlement agreements between regulated entities and the CBI arising from such actions. If the trend to the end of October 2011 is maintained in the final two months of the year, the...

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