Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (64)

Stephen Donnelly


64. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Finance further to the recent investigations by the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission into collusion by foreign exchange dealers and manipulation of the daily WM/Reuters benchmark exchange rates, the steps the Central Bank of Ireland has taken to ensure that providers of foreign exchange services to Irish consumers and businesses are not overcharging their customers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28620/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I, as Minister for Finance have no statutory role in the supervision and regulation of foreign exchange services.

The Central Bank has informed me that it cannot comment on any investigations being undertaken by other regulators.

The Central Bank does not have a role in the setting of daily benchmark foreign exchange rates. However for clarification, the Central Bank has a wider role in relation to the approval of certain charges by credit institutions and bureau de change under Section 149 of the Consumer Credit Act 1995 (as amended) including the margins charged for foreign exchange services on top of the benchmark foreign exchange rates. Section 149 requires that credit institutions, prescribed credit institutions and bureaux de change must make a submission to the Central Bank if they wish to introduce any new customer charges or increase any existing customer charges in respect of certain services. Section 149 does not cover interest rates; it applies to fees and commissions only.