The Central Bank of Ireland has published its response to a 2016 Law Reform Commission Issues Paper which had called for submissions on the reform of Ireland's laws regarding white collar crime. The Central Bank's recommendations are largely consistent with recent changes in the UK and include:
- A new criminal offence for senior management of financial institutions whose reckless decisions cause the institution's failure. This mirrors an offence enacted in the UK in 2016 (section 36 of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013), whereby senior management of UK banks face a maximum seven year jail sentence and/or substantial fines if their actions cause an institution to fail. The Central Bank's view is that the Irish legislative framework deserves to be strengthened to take account of any such " egregious recklessness in risk-taking by those who were in charge of failed financial firms".
- Creating a dedicated division within an existing criminal agency to investigate white collar crime. The Central Bank has suggested the creation of a specialised prosecution unit.
- Strengthening the accountability of senior personnel in financial companies by introducing reforms modelled on the UK regime. These reforms would permit the Central Bank to require every senior manager to present a statement of responsibility clearly setting out the matters for which they are responsible and accountable.
- Broadening the remit of the fitness and probity regime to include investigations into individuals who performed controlled functions in the past.
- Embedding certain non-sector specific core common standards within a legislative framework. For example, this might include the requirement that entities and individuals conduct themselves with honesty and integrity, and/or possess the competence and capability to conduct their business. Read the Central Bank's detailed submissions here.
Click here for the Law Reform Commission Issues Paper