Chapter 12: Definitions 

In this Code: 

“advertisement” means any commercial communication in respect of a regulated entity, which is addressed to the consumer public or a section of it, the purpose being to advertise a regulated activity or a regulated entity excluding name plaques, sponsorship material and a prospectus drawn up in accordance with the Prospectus Directive (2003/71/EC); 

“advertised product or service” means the product or service that is the subject of an advertisement;

"arrears” arise where a personal consumer:

  1. has not made a full repayment, or only makes a partial repayment, as set out in the original loan account contract, by the scheduled due date;  or
  2.  in the case of a credit card account, has not made the minimum repayment by the due date.

“associate” in relation to a person means:

  1. an undertaking in the same group as that person;
  2. any other person whose business, private or familial relationship with the first person or its associate might reasonably be expected to give rise to a community of interest between them which may involve a conflict of interest in dealings with third parties; or
  3. any other persons whose business, private or familial relationship (other than as arises solely because that person is a client of the firm) with the first person is such that he or she has influence over that person’s judgment as to how to invest his property or exercise any rights attaching to his investments.

“associated undertaking” means an associated undertaking within the meaning of Regulation 34 of the European Communities (Companies Group Accounts) Regulations 1992; 

“bundling” means the packaging of two or more distinct products into a bundle, where each of these products can be purchased separately from or through the regulated entity; 

“business day” means any day except Saturday, Sunday, bank holidays and public holidays; 

“Central Bank” means the Central Bank of Ireland;

“certified person” has the meaning given to it in Section 55 of the Investment Intermediaries Act 1995;

“charges”
means any cost or fee which a consumer must pay in connection with a product or service provided by a regulated entity

“Chinese walls” means an arrangement within the organisation of the regulated entity (or between the regulated entity and any associate of that regulated entity) which requires information held by the regulated entity (or as the case may be, any associate of that regulated entity, or a particular operating unit within the regulated entity or any associate of that regulated entity in the course of carrying on one part of its business of any kind) to be withheld in certain circumstances from other operating units or from persons with whom it deals in the course of carrying on another part of its business of any kind; 

“claimant” means a person making a claim under an insurance policy and can be a person, other than the policyholder; 

“complaint” refers to an expression of grievance or dissatisfaction by a consumer, either orally or in writing, in connection with:  

  1. the provision or the offer of the provision of a product or service to a consumer by a regulated entity; or
  2. the failure or refusal of a regulated entity to provide a product or service to a consumer;   

"compound annual rate” is the equivalent annual rate of interest (where interest is paid on previously earned interest as well as on the principal), payable at the end of the year, on a deposit;   

connected party” shall, except where otherwise stated, include a partner, officer, controller, associated undertaking, related undertaking or subsidiary undertaking or employee of the regulated entity, including any associate of the person concerned;

“consumer”
means any of the following:

  1. a person or group of persons, but not an incorporated body with an annual turnover in excess of €3 million in the previous financial year (for the avoidance of doubt a group of persons includes partnerships and other unincorporated bodies such as clubs, charities and trusts, not consisting entirely of bodies corporate) or
  2. incorporated bodies having an annual turnover of €3 million or less in the previous financial year (provided that such body shall not be a member of a group of companies having a combined turnover greater than the said €3 million);  

and includes where appropriate, a potential ‘consumer’ (within the meaning above); 

“credit institution” means an undertaking within the meaning of Article 4(1) of EU Directive 2006/48/EC the business of which is to receive deposits or other repayable funds from the public and to grant credits for its own account; 

“customer” means any person to whom a regulated entity provides or offers to provide a product or service the subject of this Code, and any person who requests such a product or service; 

“default investment strategy” has the meaning in Part X of the Pensions Act 1990; 

“deposit agent” means any person who holds an appointment on paper or on another durable medium from a single credit institution enabling him to receive deposits on behalf of that institution and prohibiting him from acting in a similar capacity on behalf of another credit institution;

“deposit broker” means any person who brings together with credit institutions persons seeking to make deposits in return for a fee, commission or other reward;

durable medium
means any instrument that enables a recipient to store information addressed personally to the recipient in a way that renders it accessible for future reference for a period of time adequate for the purposes of the information and which allows the unchanged reproduction of the information stored; 

electronic money” has the meaning given to it in the European Communities (Electronic Money) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 183 of 2011); 

employee” means a person employed under a contract of service or a person otherwise employed by a regulated entity;

fair analysis of the market” means providing services on the basis of a sufficiently large number of contracts and product producers available on the market to enable the intermediary to make a recommendation, in accordance with professional criteria, regarding which contract would be adequate to meet the consumer’s needs;

“group”
includes a company, its parent and its subsidiaries and any associated undertaking or related undertaking

“home reversion agreement” has the meaning given to it in Part V of the Central Bank Act 1997; 

“insurance intermediary” has the meaning given to it in the European Communities (Insurance Mediation) Regulations 2005;

“insurance undertaking”
has the meaning given to it in the Insurance Act 1989; 

“introductory interest rate” is an interest rate favourable to the consumer that applies for a specified period of time at the beginning of the contract; 

“investment product”  means an “investment instrument” within the meaning of Section 2 of the Investment Intermediaries Act 1995 but does not include:

  1. non-life insurance policies; and
  2. life assurance products which do not have a surrender or maturity value;

“key information” means any information which is likely to influence a consumer’s actions with regard to a product or service; 

“lifetime mortgage” means a loan secured on a borrower’s home where:

  1. interest payments are rolled up on top of the capital throughout the term of the loan; 
  2. the loan is repaid from the proceeds of the sale of the property; and
  3. the borrower retains ownership of their home whilst living in it;

limited analysis of the market” means providing services on the basis of a limited number of contracts and product producers available on the market, i.e., while not tied to one product producer the services are not provided on the basis of a fair analysis of the market;

“Member State” means a Member State of the European Economic Area; 

“MiFID Service” means any service or activity set out in Schedule 1 of the European Communities (Markets in Financial Instruments) Regulations 2007, but not including any service or activity of a person to whom such Regulations do not apply by virtue of Regulations 5(1), 5(2) and 5(3) of such Regulations;  

mortgage intermediaryhas the meaning specified in Section 2 of the Consumer Credit Act 1995; 

“officer” in relation to a regulated entity, means a director, chief executive, manager or secretary, by whatever name called, or an office or position, the holder of which reports directly to a director, chief executive, manager or secretary;  

“outsourced activity” is where a regulated entity employs another person (other than a natural person who is  an employee of the regulated entity under a contract of service) to carry out an activity on its behalf;  

“payment services” has the meaning given to it in the European Communities (Payment Services) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 383 of 2009); 

“person” means  a natural person or a legal person; 

personal consumer” means a consumer who is a natural person acting outside his or her business, trade or profession; 

“Personal Injuries Assessment Board” means the Personal Injuries Assessment Board established under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 and now known as InjuriesBoard.ie, or any successor thereto; 

power of attorney” has the meaning assigned to it in the Powers of Attorney Act 1996; 

product producer” means any regulated entity that produces, manufactures or packages a product of a financial or investment nature, and is not limited to a product producer as defined in the Investment Intermediaries Act 1995; 

protection policies ” for the purposes of this Code include the following:

  1. insurances of a class falling within the European Communities (Non-Life Insurance) Framework Regulations 1994; and
  2. insurances of classes I, III and IV as set out in Annexe I of the European Communities (Life Assurance) Framework Regulations 1994 where the purpose and intention of the policy is solely to provide protection;  

“PRSA” has the meaning in Part X of the Pensions Act 1990; 

“record” means any document, file or information (whether stored electronically or otherwise)  and which is capable of being reproduced in a legible form; 

“regulated activities” are the provision of products or services that are provided in this State by a regulated entity and which are subject to the regulation of the Central Bank and a “regulated activity” is the provision of any one such product or service; 

“regulated entity” means a financial services provider authorised, registered or licensed by the Central Bank or other EU or EEA Member State that is providing  regulated activities in the State;

“related undertaking”
means:

  1. companies related within the meaning of section 140(5) of the  Companies Act 1990;
  2. undertakings where the business of those undertakings is carried on in such a way that the separate business of each undertaking, or a substantial part thereof, is not readily identifiable; or
  3. undertakings where the decision as to how and by whom each shall be managed can be made either by the same person or by the same group of persons acting in concert; 

“retail credit” means the provision of credit (as defined in Section 28 of the Central Bank Act 1997) to relevant persons (as defined in Section 28 of the Central Bank Act 1997);  

“soft commission agreement” means any agreement under which a regulated entity receives goods or services, in return for which it agrees to direct business through or in the way of another person

“sponsorship material” means material that only communicates the regulated entity’s brand name, rather than the promotion of a specific financial product/service;

“Standard PRSA” has the meaning in Part X of the Pensions Act 1990; 

target market” for an investment product means the profile of the group of consumers at which the regulated entity aims a particular investment product; 

“terms of business” means the document in which a regulated entity sets out the basis on which it will conduct business with consumers

“tracker bond” means a  deposit or life assurance policy which  has either or both of the following features: 

  1. it provides for a minimum payment, at the expiration of a specified period of time, of a specified percentage of the amount of capital invested by the consumer in the product; 
  2. it provides for a potential cash bonus payable after a specified period of time, which is linked to, or determined by, changes over the period of investment in the level of one or more recognised stock market indices, commodity prices, any other recognised financial indices or the price of one or more securities specified at the outset or from time to time;

tracker interest rate” means a mortgage interest rate which tracks a rate which comes from a publicly available source which can be verified by both the consumer and the regulated entity, including without limitation, a rate that tracks the European Central Bank (ECB) main refinancing operations rate;
 

variable-share contract” means a home reversion agreement where the portion of the property held by the regulated entity changes during the term of the home reversion agreement;

“vulnerable consumer”
means a natural person who,  

  1. has the capacity to make his or her own decisions but who, because of individual circumstances, may require assistance to do so (for example, hearing impaired or visually impaired persons); and/or 
  2. has limited capacity to make his or her own decisions and who requires assistance to do so (for example, persons with intellectual disabilities or mental health difficulties).