It is important to keep the market for the provision of financial services under review to ensure that the level of consumer protection continues to be robust. In this context, last summer I asked Mr. Michael Tutty to conduct a review of the PCP market and regulatory structure and his report was subsequently published by my Department in November. That report found that there was currently no evidence of significant consumer detriment arising from PCPs but nevertheless it set out a number of conclusions and recommendations to help avoid possible problems arising in the future. Among these it suggested that legal advice should be obtained on, inter alia, the precise legal status of PCPs and on the scope and means of ensuring that relevant provisions of the Central Bank Consumer Protection Code, such as the Code's provisions on "Knowing the Consumer and Suitability", should apply to the providers of PCP agreements to consumers.
My Department is currently consulting the Office of the Attorney General on these queries and it is expected that a response will shortly be received. When it is to hand and in the light of the content of the advice, my Department will then further engage with the Central Bank, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on the further steps as may be required or desirable, such as the need for additional legislation, in order to advance the Tutty Report recommendations.