Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) publishes revised version of the Consumer Protection Code
This 2015 version of the Consumer Protection Code introduces a thirteenth chapter to the Code. This chapter outlines further requirements that are applicable to debt management firms. This chapter also introduces further restrictions that apply to debt management firms, including a restriction not to prevent or seek to obstruct a consumer from communicating directly with his or her creditors. The aim of the Code in general is to ensure that there is a consistent code in place to ensure that customers are safeguarded in their dealings with regulated entities.
The Consumer Protection (Regulation of Credit Servicing Firms) Bill 2015 has been published
On 12 January 2015, and following the Department of Finance's public consultation, the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Credit Servicing Firms) Bill 2015 (The Bill) was published. The Bill provides for a new authorisation requirement for firms servicing credit provided to certain borrowers (subject to a number of exceptions including where the legal owner of the loans appoints a regulated entity to undertake credit servicing on its behalf). This will provide protection for these borrowers by ensuring the continued application of certain Central Bank codes. Minister Noonan has stated that the Bill is due to be passed through the Houses of the Oireachtas early this year.
Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) publishes Patrick Honohan's speech from IMF-CEPR CBI Conference entitled 'Lessons Learnt from EU-IMF Programme'
This speech was given at the IMF-CEPR-CBI Conference in Dublin on 19 January 2015. In this speech, it was noted that it was a significant success for Ireland, notwithstanding the fact that it was initially considered high risk. He also discussed the two year blanket bond guarantee. The speech concluded with a discussion about whether this programme could have been avoided.
Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) publishes its first issues of its Markets Update for 2015
This Update was published on 23 January and further issues will be published by CBI when required – rather than on a periodic basis. The Update deals with recent policy developments related to the manner in which CBI supervises financial markets, investment funds, their service providers and MiFID firms.
EU & International
European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announces that it will hold an opening hearing on MiFID II/MiFIR
On 12 January, ESMA announced that it would hold a public hearing based around the issues contained within the MiFID II/MiFIR consultation paper published in December 2014. ESMA noted that this opening hearing will be of interest to firms that are subject to MiFID II and MiFIR, as well as trade associations and industry bodies. The hearing will take place on 19 February.
The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) publishes final Guidelines on consistency of supervisory practices for financial conglomerates
The guidelines deal with the convergence of practices aimed at ensuring consistency of supervisory coordination arrangements for financial conglomerates. These guidelines were developed in relation to the Financial Conglomerates Directive aim to clarify and enhance cooperation between national competent authorities on cross-border groups that have been identified as financial conglomerates. These guidelines will come into effect on 23 February 2015.
European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) publishes discussion paper on the use of credit ratings by financial intermediaries
This discussion paper sets out questions to financial institutions and intermediaries in the European Union in the context of their reliance on credit ratings in their practise. The ESA has also welcomed National Supervisors to contribute their views. This consultation period will run until the 27 February 2015.
Council of the EU endorses AML package and publishes joint statement with European Commission on terrorist financing
In a press release published by Presidency of the Council of EU setting out that the EU Council has endorsed agreement reached with the European Parliament on the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive. EU Parliament is expected to vote on this Directive and the revised Wire Transfer Regulations during a plenary session in March or April 2015. The press release calls upon efforts to be made to strength cooperation terrorist financing between member states' financial intelligence units.
Latvian Presidency of Council of EU publishes its work programme for first half of 2015
On 6 January 2015, the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU published its work programme for the first half of 2015. Amongst other matters, this confirms (as previously indicated) that the Presidency will move forward with work on the proposed insurance distribution directive (IMD2), with a view to reaching an agreement with the European Parliament.