On 2 July 2013, the Central Bank published a notice concerning a new regulatory regime for debt management firms. This was to the effect that Part V of the Central Bank Act 1997 (the Act) is to be amended by Part 10 of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013. This amendment will extend the scope of Part V of the Act to provide for a regulatory regime in respect of the services of debt management firms that currently fall outside existing regulatory regimes.
A debt management firm means "a person who for remuneration provides debt management services to one or more consumers, other than an excepted person". The Act also defines "debt management services" which includes giving advice about the discharge of debts negotiated with a person's creditors for the discharge of the person's debt. Following the commencement of the legislation, it is envisaged that debt management firms will be required to obtain authorisation for the Central Bank so as to provide debt management services. To facilitate the Central Bank's preparation for the processing of applications, the Central Bank is inviting firms who are currently providing such services who wish to stand authorised under the legislation when enacted to notify the Central Bank of their intention to seek authorisation as a debt management firm from 22 July 2013.