Central Bank publishes Quarterly Bulletin for Q2 2015
The Central Bank of Ireland (Central Bank) published quarterly results and forecasts for the Irish economy as at Q2 2015. The Central Bank considers that there has been strong growth in the Irish economy and predicts this to continue, with an improving labour market and rising real disposable incomes lending greater support to consumer spending in 2015 and 2016.
Central Bank publishes Irish Responses to April 2015 Bank Lending Survey
On 14th April 2015 the Central Bank of Ireland (Central Bank) published the Irish Responses to the April 2015 Bank Lending Survey, concluding that whilst generally credit standards remained unchanged, credit standards have tightened on loans for house purchases, with housing market prospects and reduced risk tolerance both contributing to this tightening in standards, and credit standards on consumer credit lending has eased marginally. Loan demand was reported to have increased across all forms of enterprise, with demand expected to increase again during the second quarter of 2015.
Central Bank launches Public Consultation No. 93 on establishment of a Central Credit Register
The Central Bank of Ireland (Central Bank) opened a public consultation in relation to the establishment of the Central Credit Register ("CCR") in accordance with the Credit Reporting Act 2013 (CP No. 93). The Consultation Paper requests views on a number of areas where the Central Bank has discretion in drafting regulations associated with the Credit Reporting Act 2013, which will detail the practical operational matters associated with the CCR, and which is due to be published in late-2015. In particular, the Consultation Paper seeks views around the practical operation of the following:
Reporting of Credit Information Subjects ("CIS") to the CCR;
Reporting by Credit Information Providers to the CCR;
Collection of Credit Application Data;
First Point of Reporting of Credit Agreements to the CCR;
Extent of Historic Data to be collected;
Single Borrower View – Accurately identifying CISs;
Collection of Foreign Credit Data;
Collection of Guarantor Data;
Levies and Fees.
The deadline for submissions to be provided to the Central Bank on these issues is 12th June 2015.
Central Bank publishes Annual Report 2014
On 30 April 2015, the Central Bank of Ireland (Central Bank) published its Annual Report for 2014 setting out its activities in 2014.
EU & INTERNATIONAL
G20 finance ministers and central bank governors' publish communique on financial services issues
The G20 published a communique following the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Washington D.C. on 16th and 17th April 2015. The communique addresses a number of issues including:
Committing to finalising the proposed common international standard on total loss absorbing capacity for global systemically important banks, and calling on the International Association of Insurance Supervisors ("IAIS") to finalise higher loss absorbency requirements for global systemically important insurers;
Identifying and addressing gaps on the resilience, recovery and resolution of central counterparties ("CCPs"), and asking the Financial Stability Board to report on progress in this regard;
Enhancing cross border co-operation to enable greater effectiveness of regulations, in particular on resolution and OTC derivatives markets reforms;
Asking the Financial Stability Board to convene public and private-sector participants to review how climate-related issues can be incorporated into the financial sector considerations.
PRA Policy Statements
On 1 April 2015, the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) issued a Policy Statement on policyholder protection (PS5/15). This provides feedback to responses received by it during certain recent consultations, including its policyholder protection/compensation consultation (CP21/14). PS5/15 revises and clarifies certain proposals set out in the consultation papers (e.g. in relation to compensation limits) and sets out the final policyholder protection rules for the new PRA Rulebook. The rules take effect from 3 July 2015 and seek to align compensation rules more closely with the PRA’s statutory objectives and to improve the effectiveness of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). A statement of policy setting out the PRA’s expectations of the FSCS is also included as an appendix. On 2 April 2015, the PRA issued a further Policy Statement (PS6/15) setting out rules in relation to the FSCS relevant to insurers. On 1 April 2015, the PRA issued a Policy Statement on the PRA Rulebook (Part 2) (PS7/15). Appendix 2 to PS7/15 (which explains PRA's approach to insurance business transfers in the UK) may be of particular interest to insurers.
FCA publishes Policy Statement on Implementation of the Mortgage Credit Directive
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a Policy Statement on the UK's implementation of the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD). In particular the FCA has noted that, insofar as possible, it will seek to implement the MCD through its existing mortgage regime. Further, the FCA has stated that in relation to "second charge mortgages", whilst these are currently regulated as consumer credit, the MCD will apply equally to first and second charge mortgages. The regulation of second charge mortgages will therefore be moved within the mortgage regime when the MCD is implemented.
ESMA publishes updated EMIR Q&A
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued the 13th update of its Q&A document on the implementation of the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). The update relates to the second level of the EMIR validation specifications to be commonly applied by the Trade Repositories to ensure that reporting is performed according to the EMIR regime.
EBA consults on a revised data template for the identification of G-SIIS
The European Banking Authority (EBA) is undertaking a consultation to update its data template for the identification of global systemically relevant institutions (G-SIIs). This consultation runs until 20 May 2015.
ECB publishes Euro Money Market Study 2014
The European Central Bank (ECB) has published its study focusing on Euro money market developments during the second quarter of 2014, comparing with the second quarters of previous years. The ECB concluded that there has been improvement in money market trading activity over the past two years, with increased activity in several market segments, including in particular the unsecured segment of the market.
OFAC Publishes New and Updated FAQ on Cuba-Related Sanctions
On 16 April 2015 the US Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a new and updated FAQ on Cuba-related sanctions, dealing with certain amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, and clarifying their application to US persons, travellers and non-US entities.
Council of the EU adopts draft Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and draft Wire Transfer Regulation
On 20 April 2015, the Council of the EU adopted the draft Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and the draft Wire Transfer Regulation at first reading. The main elements of the proposals are:
Extension of the Directive's scope to include greater number of traders by reducing the cash threshold for designated persons from €15,000 to €10,000, and also including providers of gambling services;
Further application of the risk-based approach, using evidence-based decision making;
Tighter rules on customer due diligence;
Supranational risk assessments financing that affect the internal market and relate to cross-border activities, to be co-ordinated by the European Commission;
Additional requirements in relation to beneficial ownership of corporate customers, including that information be stored on beneficial ownership in a central register , accessible to competent authorities, financial intelligence units and, as part of customer due diligence, obliged entities such as banks (although the register may be made public).
New traceability of fund transfers requirements, including information on the payee;
Sanctions will be increased to provide for a maximum fine of at least twice the amount of the benefit derived from the breach or at least €1 million.