The Central Bank has published details of a more transparent and efficient process for the authorisation of Investment Firms under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) legislation. The new process went live on 8 January 2014.

The new process has followed an industry consultations process during October and November 2013 which included workshops and presentations involving legal firms and industry representative bodies.

Depending on the Central Bank's determination of the complexity of their business models, applicant investment firms will be streamed along two tracks with the aim that simpler applications will be processed within three months and more complex applications will be processed within six months. Within both streams, there are various checkpoints and timing deadlines for the exchange of correspondence.

In tandem with the above, the Central Bank has tailored the Application Form to match the risk of an applicant’s business model or business strategy and has improved the quality of the Guidance Note for applicants.

The new application form and guidance note is available on the Central Bank website.

The Central Bank intends to carry out a review of this new process before the end of 2014.