RegSol Blog

The Central Bank and Covid-19

April 2020

The current pandemic is causing a great shock to both the Irish economy and the worldwide economy.  The effects are wide reaching, ongoing and expected to continue for some time.  The Central Bank has a key role to play in contributing to financial stability in Ireland.  In addition, as the regulator of financial service providers and markets in Ireland, the Central Bank has also to ensure that the best interests of consumers are protected.    

Some of the measures implemented by the Central Bank to tackle the crises include:

  • Increasing the volume of funds that banks can borrow in order to provide credit to firms and households by more than €1 trillion. 
  • Allowing banks to use the capital buffers they have built in recent years to support households and businesses by releasing the Countercyclical Capital Buffer from 1% to 0%. 

As a new joiner to RegSol, writing this from the kitchen table, which is now my desk, I thought it appropriate to highlight the Central Bank’s COVID-19 hub.

The hub contains a series of FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) documents.  There is a General FAQ link and there are specific FAQ links covering the following areas (a) Consumer, (b) Small and Medium Enterprises and (c) Regulated Firms.  

Here is a sample of questions:

  • I can’t afford to pay my mortgage/loan, what should I do?
  • I’ve had to close my business / cut back on operations because of COVID-19 but my insurance company has declined my request for pay out under my “Business Disruption” policy.  Is that right?
  • How is the Central Bank regulating the financial services industry in the current environment?

The hub provides a central location for information and has links to the most recent Central Bank statements as well as all those of the European Supervisory Authorities and Other Agencies.

It is also very clear that the current situation is being exploited and the Central Bank has noted:

“In the context of COVID-19 there is already evidence of increased levels of certain crimes, for example COVID-19 related frauds and scams targeting vulnerable people. As criminals are highly adaptive it can be anticipated that new techniques and channels for laundering money are likely to emerge…”

To read more click HERE 

Other resources include:

  • The Office of the Revenue Commissioners has an article specifically for SMEs detailed HERE

  • The Local Enterprise Office supports are detailed HERE

  • Reflecting the new trend of working from home the Data Protection Commission issued guidance for video conferencing calls and working safely online in a pandemic, which can be found HERE.

While all our public training courses are cancelled at present, our consultancy services (Authorisation assistance, Policy review and Compliance – as – a – Service etc) are all available.  You can contact us on or visit us at     
Looking forward to working with you.

By Éilish Larkin - Regulatory Consultant