Central Bank of Ireland issues Statement on the outcome of the UK Referendum on EU Membership
The Central Bank has issued a statement noting the outcome of the UK referendum. According to the Central Bank, it, along with the ECB Banking Supervision and the European System of Financial Supervision is 'closely monitoring' the financial market and banking sector. The Central Bank has stated that, following close engagement with banks and financial firms, contingency measures are in place to address any immediate issues that may arise following the Referendum.
Irish Minister for Finance addresses Dail on Result of UK EU Referendum
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has given a statement to the Dail stressing that the UK remains a full member of the EU until its withdrawal arrangements have been completed and there will be no immediate change in the flow of services between the UK and Ireland. Minister Noonan confirmed the Department of Finance have been liaising closely with the Central Bank and the National Treasury Management Agency who have been preparing for this outcome and closely monitoring developments.
Department of Finance Public Consultation on Financial Institutions Levy closes 8 July 2016
A Public Consultation on the Financial Institutions Levy, which has run for four weeks since 9 June, will close on 8 July. The annual levy was extended to 2021 in October of last year, subject to a review of the methodology used to calculate the levy on financial institutions whose DIRT payments exceed €100,000. The Department of Finance is now seeking views on how the levy should be calculated.
Central Bank of Ireland Governor delivers speech on technological innovation and financial services
The Central Bank Governor Philip Lane has delivered a speech to the Financial Services Ireland Ibec Annual Lunch on the opportunities and risks of technological innovation in financial services. Governor Lane identified key areas for the Central Bank in seeking to understand the effects and risks of potential innovations. Governor Lane made it clear that the Central Bank intends to embrace technological innovation, by "undertaking better analysis of "big data" in the identification of financial risks". The Central Bank has identified increased competition in the market as a risk to incumbents, risks to consumers arising from the marketing and delivery of innovative financial services, which may involve mis-information and mis-selling, and the risks to all firms arising from the handling and storage of customer data. The Governor also outlined the challenges facing the Central Bank in keeping up with financial innovation, including around assessing authorisations, making judgement calls while regulating firms, establishing credible and effective resolution regimes and cooperation with other regulatory authorities. Governor Lane indicated that the role of the Central Bank in managing the money supply may also alter with the increasing popularity of electronic payment technologies and digital currencies.
Central Bank of Ireland publishes Guidelines on Investor Money Regulations Reporting Obligations for Funds Service Providers
The Central Bank has published Guidelines for all Fund Service Providers subject to the Investor Money Regulations. FSPs should notify the Bank as soon as they become aware of an IMR breach, potential future breach or other reportable matter relating to the IMR. Reportable matters are envisaged to include potential IT-related breaches, material reconciliation differences and material funding requirements. The Guidelines provide a template Client Asset/Investor Money Reporting template which must be submitted via the Central Bank’s Online Reporting system.
Department of Finance publishes decisions on Payment Accounts Directive discretions
Following a consultation process, the Department of Finance has published its 'proposed course of action' following its public consultation on the Member State discretions allowed for in the Payments Accounts Directive (which must be transposed by 18 September 2016). Ireland will exercise its discretion in relation to 8 of the 18 discretions included in its Consultation Paper, including by exempting An Post, credit unions and friendly societies from the scope of the Irish legislation transposing the Directive. In addition, some of the discretions exercised relate to switching: a modified version of the Central Bank Code of Conduct on Switching of Current Accounts with Credit Institutions will be provided for, any information on the switching process must now also identify details of the deposit guarantee scheme, where applicable, and the consumer authorisation instigating the switching process must be in writing. Some of the discretions not exercised by Ireland include the discretion to expand the application of the Directive to wider categories of payment accounts, the discretion to require consumers who wish to open a payment account with basic features to show a genuine interest in doing so and the discretion to require overdrafts be a basic features of accounts.
Central Bank of Ireland publishes a 10 Step Guide for Micro and Small Enterprises and Guarantors
The Central Bank has published a 10 Step Guide which explains the protections contained in the new SME Regulations for SME borrowers and guarantors. The Regulations, which came into force for regulated lenders from 1 July 2016 (the Regulations will not apply to credit unions until 2017), provide greater transparency for borrowers in applying for credit and receiving the reasons for their credit applications being declined. The protections also include rules concerning borrowers in arrears and allows for the setting up of an internal appeals panel for borrowers.
The Central Bank has introduced enhancements to its Retail Intermediary Authorisation Process
The Central Bank has developed the descriptions of the application stages relevant for those applying for a retail intermediary authorisation on its website and in Guidance Notes. The descriptions clarify the 'Notification of Assessment' stage and have included details on the 'notification of a decision in respect of an application'. No amendments have been made in relation to the timings attached to the application process.
Central Bank publishes documents relating to Special Purpose Vehicles and Financial Vehicle Corporation
The Central Bank has published Guidance Notes on the registration form for Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and an FAQ document on quarterly reporting for SPVs. In addition a Guidance note and a FAQ document on Financial Vehicle Corporation (FVC) reporting has been published which outlines the process for registering and submitting quarterly FVC2 returns to the Central Bank.
European Payments Council publishes updated Single Euro Cash Area Framework
The European Payments Council has published an updated framework for the Single Euro Cash Area (SECA), which seeks to reduce the cost of cash in Europe. According to the EPC, the number of banknotes in circulation in the Eurozone has increased by 133% since 2002 and the cost of cash has increased by 30% in that period. The EPC recommends that euro area Member States 'strive' for a decrease in cash usage. The framework aims to define banking industry requirements for core cash services provided by National Central Banks and outlines a set of best practices for the efficient distribution and recirculation of euro cash in the Eurozone.
The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities launches joint website on cross-sectoral work
The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (the EBA, EIOPA and ESMA) has launched a website which will host information and news about the cross-sectoral work of the three authorities. The Joint Committee collaborates in the areas of supervision of financial conglomerates, accounting, fisk analysis money laundering and analysing cross sectoral developments and will publish joint press releases to this site.