Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (143)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

143. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the position on the licensing and regulation of debt collection agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7666/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

Debt collection agencies are not regulated entities and therefore are not subject to authorisation and supervision by the Central Bank of Ireland. However, financial service providers providing credit, which are regulated by the Central Bank, may appoint agents to conduct debt collection activities. In the case of credit provided by financial service providers regulated by the Central Bank who outsource an activity such as debt collection, the regulated financial service provider remains responsible for ensuring that the outsourced firm complies with the relevant provisions of Irish financial services legislation supervised by the Central Bank.

The Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Code 2012 (‘the Code’, available here: https://www.centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/Regulation/consumer-protection/other-codes-of-conduct/consumer-protection-code-2012.pdf) applies to regulated financial service providers providing regulated activities within the State. Provision 2.10 of the Code provides that a regulated entity must ensure that in all its dealings with customers and within the context of its authorisation, it ensures that any outsourced activity complies with the requirements of this Code.

There are also specific rules for debt collection in relation to agreements covered by the Consumer Credit Act 1995 and the European Communities (Consumer Credit Agreements) Regulations 2010.