Since the global financial crisis, both international and domestic financial services sectors have seen ever increasing levels of regulation and inspection and more intrusive and robust regulatory interventions.

This has been evidenced in Ireland, for example, by the introduction of new fitness and probity requirements for certain executives under the Central Bank Reform Act 2010 (including the power to investigate certain executives and suspend or prohibit them from carrying out their functions) and by the increased supervisory and sanctioning powers given to the Central Bank of Ireland (the "Central Bank") under the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (the "2013 Act"). The 2013 Act doubled the maximum fines (from Euro 5 million to Euro 10 million or 10% of turnover for firms – whichever the greater, and from Euro 500k to Euro 1 million for individuals) which the Central Bank could impose if a negative finding was made against a regulated entity or an individual involved in the entity's management, under the Central Bank's Administrative Sanctions Procedure. To date, the Central Bank has concluded over 100 settlements with regulated entities and individuals involved in their management under its Administrative Sanctions Procedure and imposed over Euro 39 million in fines.

To assist firms and their management in addressing enforcement related matters, Dillon Eustace has established a dedicated Regulatory Investigations Unit made up of experienced financial services and former Central Bank Enforcement lawyers and litigators. This Unit advises regulated entities and those involved in their management on how to deal with the increasingly robust investigations which are being carried out by regulatory bodies including, the Central Bank, the Registrar of Credit Unions, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (the "ODCE") and the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board, to name but a few. Our team, in particular, is experienced in dealing with the following:

  • all aspects of Central Bank's Administrative Sanctions Procedure, including the investigation phase, settlements and referrals to Inquiry;
  • attending Central Bank interviews, including those where compulsory powers have been used;
  • acting for clients in respect of appeals from decisions of the Central Bank to the Irish Financial Services Appeals Tribunal;
  • advising clients in relation to fitness and probity investigations by the Central Bank;
  • representing companies and individual executives dealing with the ODCE; and
  • acting on behalf of various financial service providers in relation to complaints made against them to the Financial Services Ombudsman.

Dillon Eustace is one of Ireland's leading law firms focusing on financial services, banking and capital markets, insurance regulation, corporate and M&A, insolvency, litigation and dispute resolution, real estate and taxation. Headquartered in Dublin, the firm acts for many regulated financial services firms, particularly MiFID entities, life and general insurers, investment funds and their service providers and many others. The firm's other offices are in Tokyo (2000), New York (2009) and Cayman Islands (2012).

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