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In conversation with Derville Rowland, Director General Financial Conduct, Central Bank of Ireland

Standing guard

Ireland’s financial services regulator’s wide remit must constantly adapt to new developments. This interview touches on consumers, change, culture, competition and crypto, along with the imperative to balance innovation and risk.

Q:What are the CBI’s regulatory priorities for 2022?

"Our financial regulation priorities for this year support our new strategy and the need to respond to the dynamic and growing financial services system in Ireland. As we have outlined in our recently published Consumer Protection Outlook Report and Securities Markets Outlook Report, these changes in the financial system present both economic and consumer benefits, but also increases complexity in the financial system and creates risks. Our key priorities include the review of the Consumer Protection Code, progressing the Individual Accountability Framework, and implementing the new Differential Pricing regulations. Alongside this work, other regulatory priorities for the year ahead include: continuing to drive for fair outcomes and for consumer and investor interests to be at the centre of financial services, contributing to the European review of capital buffers for banks, continuing to prioritise our authorisation work across multiple sectors, acting across a number of initiatives to enhance the payments environment, maintaining our focus on the financial and operational resilience of the financial sector, continuing to step up our work on climate change to both ensure the financial system can support the transition to a carbon-neutral economy and is suitably resilient to the risks."

Key quotes from Derville on:

The changes to the CPC

Our objective is to create the regulatory context in which the potential benefits of innovation for consumers, businesses and society can be realised, while the risks are effectively managed.

The Differential Pricing Review

Given many of the issues we identified through our work on Business Interruption Insurance and Differential Pricing were grounded in culture and customer outcomes, our work this year will have a particular focus on culture. It is clear from our work that cultural weaknesses continue to persist and more work is needed by firms to address the challenges and reputational issues identified.

The responsiveness to Dear CEO letters

It is likely that the recent trend to a more intrusive level of supervision of conduct, market abuse and activity-based risks at investment firms and wholesale banks will persist, at the very least to a point where we are satisfied that the governance, systems and controls of those firms who interact with securities markets and end-clients pose much lower levels of risk to those markets.

The SEAR framework go-live

As we work towards implementation, I would strongly encourage firms to use this time to prepare to implement the Framework by understanding their obligations, assessing their current governance structures in order to identify who is responsible for what, and implementing any necessary changes to their existing business model in order to ensure the requirements are properly embedded.

This is a short excerpt from the full interview available to download as part of FinSight magazine.

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