Home Knowledge Ireland’s New Regulatory Framework – Recent Developments

Ireland’s New Regulatory Framework – Recent Developments

Following a number of developments documented recently in the media, we are beginning to see how the new Central Bank of Ireland Commission (the “Commission”) will be structured and some key executive appointments have also been announced.

The Structure

The new framework will replace the current board structures of the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator and will be responsible for both the supervision of individual firms and the stability of the financial system generally. 

Two top-level posts will be established within the Commission, namely, the Financial Supervision Directorate, which will report to the Commission on regulatory and supervisory functions, and the Central Bank Directorate, which will report to the Commission on the performance of the central banking functions.

The existing role of prudential director will be divided into three Assistant Director General roles: financial supervision; financial markets supervision; and regulatory risk and enforcement.  All three Assistant Director Generals will report to the Director General of the Financial Supervision Directorate.

Key Executives

Professor Patrick Honohan has been appointed Governor of the Commission. Professor Honohan’s experience includes being a Professor of International Financial Economics and Development at Trinity College, working for nearly a decade at the World Bank as a Senior Advisor on financial sector policy, as an economic advisor to An Taoiseach, Garret Fitzgerald, and as an economist in both the Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Matthew Elderfield has been appointed head of the Financial Services Directorate, a position previously held by Pat Neary, and more recently Mary O’Dea, who was head of the Financial Regulator. The position of Financial Services Directorate will replace the head of the Financial Regulator. Mr Elderfield is currently head of financial regulation in Bermuda, a post he has held since 2007.  He previously worked in the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) for eight years as the Head of Department in a variety of posts, in which he was responsible for exchange and clearing house supervision, for secondary markets and listing policy and for banking supervision. In this latter role, he represented the FSA on the Basel Accord Implementation Group and chaired the FSA panel responsible for economic capital model review.

Tony Grimes, currently the head of the Central Bank, will be head of the Central Bank Directorate. Mr Elderfield and Mr Grimes will report to Professor Honohan.

Con Horan is assuming the role of Assistant Director General for regulatory risk and enforcement. He was previously the Prudential Director of the Financial Regulator. We understand that there is an ongoing recruitment process for the other two Assistant Director General roles. 


The consumer information and education role, currently carried out within the Consumer Directorate of the Financial Regulator will be re-assigned to the National Consumer Agency (“NCA”).  It is also proposed to amalgamate the NCA with the Competition Authority.

The proposed regulatory reforms will not impact on the current separate statutory role of the Financial Services Ombudsman who adjudicates on individual customer complaints concerning financial institutions.