Consultative Consumer Panel 

The Central Bank Reform Bill 2010 replaced the Consultative Panels with new advisory arrangements which have yet to be put in place. The information in this section relates to the recently discontinued Consultative Consumer Panel.

The members of the Financial Services Consultative Consumer Panel ("Consumer Panel"), are appointed by the Minister for Finance.

The members consist of:

  • personal, professional and small business consumers of financial services 
  • consumer advocates and activists 
  • experienced individuals from industry
  • banking, academic and media communities.

Functions of the Consumer Panel

The functions of the Consumer Panel are set out in detail in the section on the Functions of the Panel, and may be summarised as follows:

  • monitoring the performance by the Financial Regulator of its functions and responsibilities under this Act
  • providing the Financial Regulator with comments with respect to the performance of its functions and responsibilities
  • providing the Financial Regulator with comments and suggestions with respect to the performance of the financial services industry
  • when requested to comment on policy and regulatory documents issued, or to be issued, by the Financial Regulator
  • to comment on the Financial Regulator's draft estimate of income and expenditure and consult with the Minister for Finance before he approves the draft estimate of income and expenditure 
  • providing the Financial Regulator with suggestions for initiatives that, in the Panel's opinion, the Financial Regulator should take with respect to the performance of its functions and responsibilities.

The Financial Regulator must consult each Panel before issuing a policy or regulatory document.

The Financial Regulator is to provide the Consumer Panel with such administrative services (including technical and legal advice) as the Financial Regulator believes are necessary for the Panel to exercise its functions.

Publishing of Consumer Panel’s Annual Report

The Financial Regulator must arrange for the publication of:

  • the Consumer Panel's annual report
  • comments of the Panel
  • reports of meetings and advisory groups;
  • reports issued/commissioned by the Panel or advisory groups
  • Panel's rules of procedure
  • any reasons given to the Panel by the Financial Regulator for not taking into account any comments of the Panel (where requested by the Panel to publish)

Consumer Panel sub-groups

There are four sub-groups of the Consumer Panel:

  • Codes Sub-Group
  • Information and Education Sub-Group
  • Monitoring Sub-Group
  • Suggestions Sub-Group

Codes Sub-Group

The Codes Sub-Group reviews and comments on the Codes of Conduct in place.

Information and Education Sub-Group

The Information and Education Sub-Group is led by Raymond O'Rourke and looks at consumer information and education initiatives and liaises closely with the Consumer Information Department of the Financial Regulator.

Monitoring Sub-Group

The Monitoring Sub-Group is led by John Maher and is primarily involved in assessing, monitoring and commenting on the performance of the Financial Regulator. This is a specific function of the Consumer Panel under the legislation.

Suggestions Sub-Group

The Suggestions Sub-Group is led by Sean O'Sullivan and is involved in providing suggestions for initiatives for the Financial Regulator to take. Again, this is a specific legislative function of the Consumer Panel.