On 25 January 2014 the Central Bank published its Programme of Themed Reviews and Inspections for 2014 (the 2014 Programme) and its Enforcement Priorities in 2014 (the 2014 Priorities).
The 2014 Programme and 2014 Priorities cover both a wide range of topics and a variety of types of regulated firms. As has been the case in previous years, the themes and priorities also cover both very general topics and very specific topics (with the latter presumably driven by concerns arising from the Central Bank's day-to-day supervisory activities).
THEMED REVIEWS AND INSPECTIONS
The Central Bank's programmes of themed reviews and inspections (published annually for the forthcoming calendar year) summarise reviews and inspections (desktop or on-site) that that the Central Bank intends to conduct. The list is not, however, exhaustive and the Central Bank will also conduct reactive inspections as issues arise.
The results of themed reviews and inspections often inform the development of, or updates to, codes of conduct; result in the issuance of letters to industry highlighting particular practices (whether positive practices, or practices requiring improvement) and recommending certain steps; and may also lead to administrative sanctions where breaches of regulatory requirements are identified.
The 2014 Programme
The 2014 Programme is divided into three key areas: consumer protection, market and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance:
Common themes between the 2014 Programme and its 2013 equivalent are:
mortgage arrears: reviewing compliance with the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears 2013 (the CCMA) fees and charges: assessing whether the information provided by investment and stockbroking firms to clients in relation to fees and charges is fair, clear and not misleading retail intermediaries: reviewing compliance by retail intermediaries with prudential requirements insurance intermediaries: reviewing compliance by insurance intermediaries with requirements in relation to professional indemnity insurance New areas forming part of the consumer protection element of the 2014 Programme are:
SME lending: inspecting lending to small and medium enterprises to both monitor compliance with the Code of Conduct on Business Lending to Small and Medium Enterprises 2012 (the SME Code) and to facilitate the review of the SME Code which the Central Bank intends to undertake during 2014 advertising: reviewing compliance with advertising...