Litigation and Enforcement

Author: Clerkin Lynch LLP

Date Published 25/11/2021

The Central Bank’s evolution of enforcement” – Speech by Director General Derville Rowland

This speech was delivered on 13th October 2021. Ms Rowland noted that by the end of September 2021, the Central Bank has concluded 144 enforcement actions, imposing fines amounting to over €166.5 million. They have disqualified 26 individuals from senior roles in firms. These figures illustrate the Central Bank going beyond a credible threat of enforcement to the effective use of enforcement powers to address serious wrongdoing.

She noted that in July, Minister Donohoe published the General Scheme of the Central Bank (Individual Accountability Framework) Bill 2021 containing the four central components aimed at achieving these behavioural, cultural and regulatory objectives as proposed in the Central Bank’s Culture Report:

• The Senior Executive Accountability Regime will require firms to set out clearly and comprehensively where responsibility and decision-making lie in order to achieve transparency as to who is accountable for what within firms.
• The enforceable Conduct Standards set out the behaviour expected of firms and their staff, including obligations to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity, to act with due skill, care, and diligence, and in the best interest of consumers.
• The Central Bank’s Fitness and Probity Regime will be enhanced and will place a greater onus on firms to proactively certify that certain staff are fit and proper and capable of performing their roles with integrity and competence.
• The Central Bank’s Administrative Sanctions Procedure will be strengthened to ensure that individuals can be pursued directly for their misconduct rather than only where they have participated in a firm’s wrongdoing. The reforms will also provide for greater process efficiency, clarity, and administrative consistency to all involved, including those who may be the subject of enforcement action.