The Department of Finance published the Financial Consumer Protection Roadmap on 13 September 2023, highlighting what we can expect to see from a legislative and policy perspective over the next two years.
- Ensuring that lenders engage with borrowers who are impacted by rate increases, and facilitate mortgage switching where possible, will remain priority matters.
- The Department will chair a new intra-departmental group which has been tasked by the Government with looking at whether additional policy or operational measures should be considered to address long-term mortgage arrears.
- The EU Credit Servicing Directive is due for transposition at the end of December 2023 (read our latest update here).
- The revised Consumer Credit Directive (agreed in trilogue in December 2022) was approved in the European Parliament earlier this week. Keep an eye out for our insights on the final text of that Directive over the coming days; Ireland will need to publish its transposition measures within 2 years of the Directive being published in the Official Journal.
Individual Accountability Framework
- End-December 2023 will see the application of the new conduct standards and the new certification requirement under the Fitness and Probity (F&P) regime, and the bringing of holding companies into the scope of the F&P regime.
- The senior executive accountability regime will apply from 1 July 2024.
For our latest insights on the IAF and SEAR, visit www.arthurcox.com/iaf.
- The Central Bank's consultation paper on the reform of the Consumer Protection Code (CPC) is expected in December 2023 following last year's discussion paper. The revised CPC will come into effect in late 2024 and will be updated again in 2025. Read our latest insights here.
- Recommendations from the November 2022 Retail Banking Review Report regarding access to branches are expected to be reflected in the December 2023 CPC consultation paper.
- Progress is also expected on the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (Amendment) Bill following the publication of draft Heads of Bill earlier this year. Many of the planned changes are expected to result from the Supreme Court ruling in the Zalewski case (read our Employment team's insights on that ruling here).
Digitalisation and Security
- The Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation will start to apply on a phased basis from 2024 (read our recent update here and keep an eye out for our analysis of the ongoing work on Level 2 measures later this month).
- Other EU legislation on which the Department is particularly focused includes the planned changes to the Payment Services Directive (via a new directive and a new regulation – push payment fraud is a priority area which will be addressed as part of those changes) and the proposed regulation for instant euro credit transfers (currently going through the trilogue process – read our earlier insights here).
- The changes to the Distance Marketing of Financial Services Directive were agreed at trilogue, so transposition will be a priority item when the changes are finalised and published in the Official Journal. Read our insights on the Commission's original proposal here.
Output from Retail Banking Review
To deliver on certain recommendations from the November 2022 Retail Banking Review Report:
- The Department has tasked a new team with developing a National Strategy for Financial Literacy in Ireland.
- The Department will prepare a National Payments Strategy, for publication in 2024. That will include details on any planned 'access to cash' legislation.
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.