Central Bank review of the Consumer Protection Code (CPC), Consumer Protection Outlook Report and the extension of the CPC remitJuly 2021
Consumer protection is a key focus of the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI). The Consumer Protection Code (CPC) and the detailed requirements in it will be familiar to our readers. The CPC is currently under review by the Central Bank. Earlier this year, Derville Rowland, Director of Financial Conduct at the CBI addressed Banking Payments Federation of Ireland. In that speech Ms Rowland stated “The Consumer Protection Code is the cornerstone of our consumer protection framework. We are working to finalise our plans for a broad consultation on a substantial update of the Consumer Protection Code.” The public consultation on the proposals should follow later this year.
The Consumer Protection Outlook Report listed the six key areas of focus for the CBI in 2021:
- Deliver intrusive risk-based supervision
- Enhance the Consumer Protection framework
- Drive firms to embed effective consumer-based cultures
- Influence, shape and deliver key policies for regulation
- Ensure fair treatment of borrowers in financial distress
- Enhance our gate keeping process
In the Report, Gráinne McEvoy, Director of Consumer Protection notes “We expect firms to act on this information detailed in the Outlook Report. Consumer protection begins with the financial services firms.”
Another key development is the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Retail Credit and Credit Servicing Firms) Bill 2021. This Bill means that providers of credit, hire-purchase agreements and consumer-hire agreements will have to be authorised by the Central Bank. Firms offering these services will then be subject to the Consumer Protection Code thus giving consumers greater protection. This has been welcomed by both Minister Paschal Donohue and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.