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Central Bank Reform Act - New Regulatory Structure

September 21, 2010

New Regulatory Structure

The Act reforms the existing regulatory structure by abolishing the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority and creating a single, integrated Central Bank (“the Bank”) subject to the control of a unitary board called the Bank Commission. 

The new unitary structure replaces the existing structure where the systemic regulation of the overall financial system was divorced from the prudential supervision of individual firms.  By merging the structure in this manner it is expected that the Bank will be in a better position to monitor and react more effectively to systemic risk. 

The Bank Commission will manage and control the Bank.  It will comprise up to 12 members and will be chaired by the Governor of the Central Bank. 

The Act also creates two statutory posts, a Head of Financial Regulation and a Head of Central Banking.  The current chief executive of the Financial Regulator (i.e. Matthew Elderfield) will occupy the position of Head of Financial Regulation. 

The office of the Consumer Director will be abolished and the functions of the Director in promoting the rights and interests of consumers through the dissemination of information and the promotion of financial education will be assigned to the National Consumer Agency established under the Consumer Protection Act 2007.  The Act also provides for the secondment of Bank employees to the National Consumer Agency.

See Appendix 1 for diagram illustrating structure