Central Bank of Ireland 2020 Priorities

February 3, 2020

We were delighted to be in attendance at the Association of Compliance Officers of Ireland lunchtime event where Derville Rowland, Director General, Financial Conduct at the Central Bank of Ireland addressed a large crowd of attendees. In this update we summarise some of the Central Bank Of Ireland’s priorities for 2020 of which the Director General outlined during her speech.

1. Enhancements to the Consumer Protection Code

During the speech, Ms Rowland outlined that the Central Bank now regulates and supervises over 10,000 entities and a key priority is identifying and prioritising key consumer protection risks facing the industry. After engaging in in-depth consumer research, the CBI will soon publish their Consumer Protection Outlook Report which will detail the key risks which have been identified in the area.

During her address Ms Rowland outlined that they expect the boards of financial services organisations to ensure their pricing and other practices comply with the Consumer Protection Code. The findings of the Central Bank's consumer research could see changes being implemented to the Consumer Protection Code.

2. Enforcement

On this topic Ms Rowland explained that conduct is about people and how they behave. She focused on the Central Bank's Fitness and Probity regime highlighting that during their role as gatekeeper the CBI has refused numerous applications, while a further 86 applications for senior positions have been withdrawn where the CBI challenged the applicant.

The onus is now firmly with the organisation to conduct their own checks to ensure each individual is fit and proper. The emphasis is on the organisation to have strict Fitness and Probity processes in place as the CBI expects that every person employed in the financial services sector provides full and truthful information to the Central Bank.

3. Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Ms Rowland also outlined that a key priority of the CBI’s work is to supervise firms compliance with their obligations under the Criminal Justice Act 2010 to protect the financial system from money launderers and terrorists.

“We will also focus on the design and operation of money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessments by firms. This risk assessment is the cornerstone of an effective control framework.”

Overall in 2020 the CBI will continue their work, focusing heavily on conduct, culture and customers. With the financial services sector constantly growing in scale and complexity it is important that the CBI develop an even more sophisticated toolkit to regulate the conduct of firms in the industry.

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