The Central Bank has published an update on its Consumer Protection Code (CPC) review, following its October 2022 Discussion Paper which closed for feedback on 31 March 2023 (read our insights on the Discussion Paper here: Consumer Protection Code: Central Bank publishes Discussion Paper).
The Central Bank still plans to publish a formal Consultation Paper in Q4 2023, followed by a Feedback Statement and a revised CPC (taking the form of new Central Bank regulations) in 2024. However, it has outlined two notable further steps:
- The revised 2024 CPC will be updated again in 2025. The second set of changes are expected to address matters arising from the Retail Banking Review Report, and key themes arising from the European Commission's retail investment strategy and the planned changes to the Payment Services Directive.
- The Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) and other "existing standalone consumer protection codes and regulations" will be consolidated into the revised CPC. The Central Bank has not signposted any plans to change the CCMA itself, but rather wants to locate all consumer-protection codes and regulations in the one place.
The Central Bank also indicated that it is "considering the scope of the Code and whether it should be extended to include sectors or services not currently covered by Code provisions."
The key themes set out in the Discussion Paper remain the focus area throughout the CPC review process (securing consumers' best interests (in terms of both the availability and choice of financial products, and ensuring that firms act in the best interests of consumers), innovation and disruption, digitalisation, unregulated activities, pricing, informing effectively, vulnerability, financial literacy, and climate matters). These will sit alongside other non-CPC policy priorities (reiterated in its CPC Review – Discussion Paper – Engagement Update), including:
- Ongoing enhancements to the authorisation process.
- IAF / SEAR implementation (visit www.arthurcox.com/iaf for our insights).
- Reviewing and consulting on the Innovation Hub (that consultation is expected later in 2023).
- Implementation of DORA (read the latest insights from our Technology and Innovation Group here: New draft technical standards provide useful guidance for DORA compliance projects).
- Implementation of MiCA.
- Focusing on vulnerable consumers in account migration processes.
- The work of the Climate Change Unit and the Central Bank Climate Forum.
This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.