As the Deputy will be aware, the need to rebuild trust in the Banking sector is a priority for this Government, and I am committed to introducing a Central Bank (Amendment) Bill that will increase individual accountability in the financial sector. The proposed legislation will drive positive changes in terms of wider banking culture, greater delegation of responsibilities, and enhanced accountability while simplifying the taking of sanctions against individuals who fail in their financial sector roles.
I received the agreement of Government on 18th June last to begin the process of drafting heads of this Bill. This follows extensive preparatory work by my officials, in consultation with the Central Bank. This included consideration of the lessons to be learned from the UK’s Senior Managers Regime and Conduct Standards, given the close relationship between the two financial sectors and the similar common law legal system.
It is my intention to bring forward draft heads of Bill to Government for approval later this year and to then progress the Bill for debate in the Houses through pre-legislative scrutiny. However, this timetable is very much subject to Brexit developments given the priority for both my Department officials and their legal colleagues is planning for a potential no-deal Brexit.
The legal considerations of the Central Bank (Amendment) Bill are complex as the issues it addresses go to the core of individuals' rights to an adequate means of a livelihood, and the Bill's provisions are required to be constitutionally sound in the event of legal challenge.