On 22 March 2022, the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) published its Consumer Protection Outlook Report 2022 (the Report), detailing five key cross-sectoral risks:
- Poor business practices and weak business processes.
- Ineffective disclosures to consumers.
- The changing operational landscape.
- Technology-driven risks to consumer protection.
- The impact of shifting business models.
These five key risks are distilled from an original list of 145, identified through a cross-industry risk assessment. The Report sets out the CBI’s expectations of firms in relation to each of the five key risks. Significant focus is placed on the following:
- Robust governance frameworks.
- Needs of consumers and vulnerable customers including product suitability.
- Sufficient resources, capacity, and operational resilience.
- Fair treatment of consumers when incidents/errors occur.
- Provision and disclosure of clear, timely, relevant information to consumers.
- Identification and mitigation of consumer risks.
- Cybersecurity risk management frameworks.
Along with the provision of such guidance, the CBI also refers to its new five-year strategy which will focus on four interconnected themes including:
- open & engaged;
- transforming; and
This strategy is set to be implemented in the context of the five cross sectoral risks set out above.
Director of Consumer Protection, Colm Kincaid in a CBI Press Release on 14 March 2022 stated:
“Financial services play a critical role in our daily lives and how we provide for our future. Regulated firms have a duty to provide those services in a manner that protects the best interests of consumers. In this report, we identify the primary drivers of risk for consumers that we see from our supervisory work, as well as what we expect firms to do about those risks.”
Please click here for the Report.
Contributed by India Delaney & Frank Hanly