Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Questions (190)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

190. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Finance if there is a statute of limitations for penalties or prosecutions on financial institutions for misconduct or breach of regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27757/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Statute of Limitations does not apply to the Central Bank’s powers to impose penalties on financial institutions for breaches of regulatory requirements under its Administrative Sanctions Procedure.

In some instances, the Central Bank has the power to prosecute financial institutions for criminal offences under financial services legislation. Where the Central Bank has such a power to prosecute, this is confined to summary prosecutions in the District Court. The general limitation period for summary prosecutions of relevant offences under financial services legislation is provided for in Section 55(2) of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act, 2013, which is set out below for completeness. The general limitation period is 3 years, which also includes a date of knowledge clause extending the 3 years from the date that evidence sufficient to justify the bringing of a summary prosecution comes to the knowledge of the Central Bank. Despite this date of knowledge clause, there is a long stop provision preventing any proceedings from being brought at any time beyond 5 years from the date on which the offence was committed.

Section 55(2) of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 provides that:

(2) Notwithstanding section 10(4) of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851 and any provision of financial services legislation, summary proceedings for a relevant offence under financial services legislation may be instituted -

(a) at any time within 3 years from the date on which the offence was committed, or

(b) if, at the expiry of that period, the person against whom the proceedings are to be brought is outside the State, within 6 months of the date on which he or she next enters the State, or

(c) at any time within 3 years from the date on which evidence that, in the opinion of the person by whom the proceedings are brought, is sufficient to justify the bringing of the proceedings, comes to that person's knowledge, whichever is the later, provided that no such proceedings shall be commenced later than 5 years from the date on which the offence concerned was committed.