On 29 June 2012, the Central Bank published new Fitness and Probity Service Standards (the “Standards”) outlining the Central Bank’s target turnaround times for processing individual questionnaires (“IQ”).

The Standards provide guidance on the time period in which the Central Bank aims to complete its assessment of IQs submitted by persons who are proposed for roles in pre-approval controlled functions (“PCFs”) in accordance with the requirements of the Central Bank’s fitness and probity regime.

The Standards emphasise the importance of the proposed person submitting a fully and accurately completed IQ with appropriate documentation attached.  Further, the IQ must be endorsed by the firm to which the proposed person is to be appointed in a PCF role.  If an incomplete IQ is submitted, the application for approval will be returned to the proposing entity, together with reasons, within 5 business days.  Where the Central Bank requires a proposed person to attend for an interview, this will be communicated to that person within 15 business days.

The Standards set down the following target turnaround times for the completion by the Central Bank of its assessment of an IQ, with the period commencing on the receipt of a complete IQ:

  • 5 business days for persons who are proposed as PCFs for qualifying investor funds;
  • 12 business days for persons who are currently approved for a PCF role in Ireland and who wish to take up a similar role within the same sector in Ireland;
  • 12 business days for persons who are currently approved for a PCF role within a specific sector in the EEA and who wish to take up a similar role within the same sector in Ireland; and
  • 15 business days in all other cases where a complete application has been received.

However, the Standards provide that where approvals are sought as part of the authorisation of a new entity or where approvals are sought as a qualifying shareholder or as part of an acquiring transaction, the above time targets do not apply and the approval will be part of the normal authorisation or approval process.  Further, the Standards provide that where the Central Bank is waiting on responses from third parties (eg, foreign regulators), it may not be possible to meet the above targets.  In this regard, the Central Bank recommends that the proposed person notify their home regulator of the application for approval by the Central Bank.

Finally, the Standards provide that the interests of stakeholders and the importance of making the right regulatory decision may require the Central Bank to take longer than the target timescales listed above.  The Standards set out that the Central Bank aims to meet its targets 85% of the time and that the Central Bank will publish metrics on a half yearly basis. 

The full text of the Standards is available here.