Among the headline changes introduced by the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (the “2013 Act”) is the increase in the maximum fines which can be imposed by the Central Bank of Ireland in the administrative sanctions procedure. For corporates, maximum fines have increased from €5 million to €10 million or 10% of the previous year’s turnover. For individuals the maximum fine has increased from €500,000 to €1 million.
Significantly, the 2013 Act now empowers the CBI to require regulated entities to produce a ‘skilled person’ report to be prepared by a lawyer, accountant or other expert, whose appointment is subject to CBI approval. While the regulated entity must bear the costs of the preparation of the report, the CBI can prescribe the issues that it must address. The CBI’s new power to compel the production of a skilled person report is similar to the power available to the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under section 166 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (as amended). The power is widely used in the UK with 113 skilled person reports having being commissioned by the UK regulator during the year ended 31 March 2013.
The 2013 Act also gives new powers to the Financial Services Ombudsman (the “FSO”) to “name and shame” regulated financial service providers against which at least three adverse findings have been made in the previous financial year. The FSO exercised this power for the first time in his 2013 bi-annual report published on 26 February 2014.