Public Statement: Irish Financial Services Appeals Tribunal judgement

14 February 2024 Press Release

Central Bank of IrelandToday, the Irish Financial Services Appeals Tribunal (IFSAT) published its judgement in relation to a decision by the Central Bank to refuse an individual’s application to a senior role (pre-approval controlled function (PCF)) in financial services under the Central Bank’s fitness and probity (F&P) regime. IFSAT found a number of issues in how the Central Bank handled this application. Accordingly, the Tribunal has returned the application to the Central Bank for reassessment. We will immediately conduct a reassessment of the application, in accordance with the Tribunal’s directions.

Gatekeeping - the authorisation of firms or individuals to provide regulated financial services - forms an integral part of our supervisory framework. Gatekeeping aims to ensure that individuals and firms are of a sufficiently high standard to meet regulatory requirements.

A key part of gatekeeping is the statutory F&P regime, which was introduced in 2011. The core function of fitness and probity is to ensure that individuals in key decision making and customer facing positions within a regulated firm are competent, capable, honest, ethical, of integrity and financially sound. Since 2014, the Central Bank has approved more than 30,000 people to work in the financial sector.

The F&P approval process has continually evolved and enhanced. However, it is now more than a decade in operation. The Central Bank has therefore decided to commission an independent review of the F&P approval process to ensure that it remains effective into the future. The outcome of this review will be published in due course. Meanwhile, all of the Central Bank’s gatekeeping functions, including the F&P approval process, will continue to operate in accordance with agreed service standards.


IFSAT, established under Part VIIA of the Central Bank Act 1942 (the Act), is an independent tribunal which ensures an avenue of appeal for persons affected by certain decisions of the Bank1 – and thus plays a key role in protecting the overall integrity of the financial regulatory system.