A day after the Central Bank published its Annual Report for 2018, in which it reiterated that it uses its suite of enforcement tools to hold firms and individuals to account, details of the first fine levied on a firm arising from Central Bank’s tracker mortgage examination have been published.

At EUR21 million (which reflects a 30% discount) the fine is the largest fine ever levied on a firm under the Central Bank’s Administrative Sanction Procedure. Ms Seanna Cunningham, the Central Bank’s Director of Enforcement and Anti-Money Laundering, took the opportunity to remind firms of its expectation that they “cooperate and engage with the Central Bank in an open, constructive and meaningful manner at all times”. Ms Cunningham remarked that the Central Bank views the manner in which a firm engages with its regulator as indicative of its culture. Her statement brings into focus, once again, the importance the Central Bank places on having the right culture within firms, and that driving change, where necessary, is a key priority.

Separately, Ms Derville Rowland, Director General of Financial Conduct at the Central Bank, has said that the regulator may still take action against individual bankers after it completes investigations into the firms. It is clear from these statements that the Central Bank is committed to its mandate to drive expected behaviours and change culture in firms from the top down and we can be certain that we will see this trend continue as its moves forward with it proposals to implement an individual accountability framework.

Read the Central Bank’s press release and enforcement notice here.

Karen Reynolds and Kevin O'Higgins provide an update on the annual report here.