Thursday, 8 March 2018

Ceisteanna (67)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

67. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he has satisfied himself that the Central Bank’s consumer protection code, code of conduct on mortgage arrears and code of conduct for business lending to small and medium enterprises are all on a statutory basis and are not voluntary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11515/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am informed by the Central Bank that the Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Code 2012 is a statutory Code issued pursuant to powers under the following legislation:

(a) Section 117 of the Central Bank Act 1989;

(b) Section 23 and Section 37 of the Investment Intermediaries Act 1995;

(c) Section 8H of the Consumer Credit Act 1995; and

(d) Section 61 of the Insurance Act 1989.

The Central Bank has the power to administer sanctions for a contravention of the Consumer Protection Code, under Part IIIC of the Central Bank Act 1942.  The provisions of the Consumer Protection Code are binding on regulated entities and must, at all times, be complied with when providing financial services.

The Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears 2013 (CCMA) is a statutory Code issued under Section 117 of the Central Bank Act 1989.  The Central Bank has the power to administer sanctions for a contravention of this Code, under Part IIIC of the Central Bank Act 1942.  Regulated entities must comply with the CCMA as a matter of law.  The CCMA applies to the mortgage lending activities of all regulated entities operating in the State. I have requested the Central Bank to carry out a review of the CCMA to ensure it remains as effective as possible and have asked that the report be completed as soon as practically possible.

The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (Section 48) (Lending to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) Regulations 2015 (the SME Regulations) came into effect and apply to regulated entities, except credit unions, since 1 July 2016.  For credit unions the Regulations came into effect on 1 January 2017.  The Regulations replaced the existing Code of Conduct for Business Lending to Small and Medium Enterprises 2012 .  The SME Regulations were issued by the Central Bank in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 48 of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013.   The SME Regulations must be complied with by regulated entities as a matter of law.