16 April 2002
Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority
The Minister for Finance, Mr. Charlie McCreevy,T.D., welcomes the publication today of the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Bill 2002.He also wishes to announce the appointment of an Interim Board to manage the transition to the new regulatory arrangements
The Chairman of the Interim Board will be Mr. Brian Patterson. Mr. Patterson is former Chief Executive Officer of Wedgwood, a division of Waterford Wedgwood Plc. and a former Director General of the Irish Management Institute. The other members of the Interim Board will be:
The Bill is a major piece of legislation.The main purpose of the Bill is to provide for the coordination of the ESCB-related functions of the Central Bank and the functions of a single regulatory authority for financial services to be carried out within the overall structure of the‘Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland’ chaired by the Governor, as signaled by the Minister and the Tánaiste on 20 February 2001
The structure provided for in this Bill differs slightly from the structure originally envisaged by the Government.In particular, the Bill now provides for a monetary committee, rather than a separate monetary authority within the Board of the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland.
Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority (IFSRA)
This Bill will: -
It is intended that the Interim Board will become the Board of IFSRA on its establishment. The appointment of the Interim Board will allow important work towards ensuring a smooth transition to the new arrangements to take place as soon as possible.The role of the Interim Board will include the selection of a Chief Executive for IFSRA and assisting the Ministers concerned, the Central Bank and the Chief Executive- designate in preparing for the establishment of IFSRA.
Consultation with the European Central Bank (ECB)
Under European law, the Government is required to consult the European Central Bank on legislation of this type.The ECB is therefore being consulted formally in accordance with the relevant provisions
The Minister also wishes to announce that it is intended to prepare and publish another Bill in the second half of the year. This second Bill will implement other recommendations contained in the McDowell Report, such as the establishment of a statutory financial services ombudsman and of consultative panels of the financial services industry and of consumers.It will also address issues arising from the recommendations of the Report of the Review Group on Auditing and provisions for the revision of Section 16 of the Central Bank Act, 1989, dealing with confidentiality of Central Bank information.
The Minister for Finance, Mr. Charlie McCreevy, T.D. said, “I am delighted to be in a position to publish this very important Bill.I believe that Ireland should provide a flexible and responsive regulatory system to the financial sector, and that this Bill can deliver the appropriate structure for that.I also believe that it is in the interests of both the customers of financial institutions and the financial institutions themselves that consumer issues be brought into the heart of financial regulation, and this Bill will also achieve that end.I would like to extend my congratulations to Mr. Brian Patterson and the new Interim Board.They have some very important work to do in preparing for the establishment of IFSRA, and I wish them well.”
Welcoming the publication of the Bill, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Ms. Mary Harney, T.D. said,"The establishment of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority will represent the most far reaching reform in financial service regulation in this country.; It will demonstrate nationally and internationally this Government's commitment to ensuring that Ireland has the highest standard of financial regulation and consumer protection. This Government wants the new regulator to be responsive to the needs of both industry and the consumer.I am confident we are giving it the independence to achieve this".
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