The Central Bank recently announced the outcome of its intensive inspection of 325 retail intermediaries (including insurance intermediaries) that it identified as non-compliant as each had failed to submit an Annual Return. The inspection has resulted in the majority of the firms concerned either becoming compliant or revoking their authorisations.

Over a fourteen week period, the Central Bank inspected the firms identified which involved performing unannounced on-site visits to 127 firms across 23 counties. The following are main points to note from the inspection:

  • 134 firms have since sought voluntary revocation of their authorisation while 171 firms are now meeting reporting obligations.
  • The Central Bank will utilise further supervisory powers in relation to the remaining 20 firms.
  • A large number of the 171 firms that subsequently submitted Annual Returns showed potential areas of regulatory non-compliance and these firms are being pursued by the Central Bank.

The Central Bank’s announcement emphasised the importance of the requirement for firms to submit their Annual Return. The returns are regarded by the Central Bank as a key supervisory tool which provides it with an efficient supervisory approach using automatic alerts to identify key risk indicators including where a firm fails key financial health checks or fails to have the correct level of professional indemnity insurance in place. The failure to submit an Annual Return can pose a serious threat to the Central Bank’s objectives, as non-compliance in one area can often be a sign of wider issues which can negatively impact on consumers.

The message for insurance intermediaries as a result of this Central Bank inspection is clear – the submission of a complete Annual Return is essential to help ensure that your firm is not raising red flags on the Central Bank’s supervisory radar.

To read the Central Bank’s announcement in full, please click here.