Following the introduction of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (the ‘2013 Act’), the Central Bank was provided with a range of enforcement tools to deal with the unauthorised provision of financial products or services (i.e. by an unauthorised entity).
These tools include the power to publish warning notices in respect of all types of unauthorised activity and to bring an application for an Enforcement Order to the High Court against the unauthorised entity. Both of these tools are extremely effective in their own right and have been utilised successfully by the Central Bank to deal with unauthorised activity. As such, since 2013 the Central Bank has used its enforcement powers under section 53 of the 2013 Act with 166 warning notices published and listed on the Central Bank’s list of unauthorised firms. In addition, in one instance the Central Bank used its enforcement powers under section 52 of the 2013 Act and obtained a High Court Enforcement Order against an unauthorised entity.
I am informed that the Central Bank keeps the consideration of potential criminality by unauthorised entities under constant review. The Central Bank regularly reports to An Garda Siochana information that leads it to suspect that a criminal offence has been committed, in accordance with its statutory reporting obligations.
I am informed that the Central Bank has found the enforcement tools provided in the 2013 Act to be very effective for dealing with unauthorised entities and as such, the Bank has not brought a summary prosecution against an unauthorised entity in that time. However, in an appropriate case, the Central Bank will consider the utilisation of its summary prosecution powers.