Consumer Protection

Introduction to Consumer Protection

The Consumer Protection Directorate (CPD) is involved in the development, implementation and supervision of financial conduct of business regulation for relevant regulated entities.  CPD is also responsible for the prudential supervision and authorisation of MiFID Investment Firms in the Stockbroking, Pension Provider, Wealth and Asset Management sectors and certain sectors classed as low impact under the PRISM Risk Framework, e.g. Retail Intermediaries, Debt Management Firms, Moneylenders, Retail Credit Servicing Firms and Credit Servicing Firms. In addition, CPD has cross-sectoral ownership within the Central Bank for client asset and investor money risk. The Client Asset Specialist Team is responsible for supervising and inspecting client asset / investor money arrangements and monitoring the risks to the safekeeping of client assets / investor money in relevant entities.

The Consumer Protection Directorate aims to deliver on its consumer protection mandate in the context of three important desired consumer protection outcomes:

  • a positive consumer-focused culture that is embedded and demonstrated within all firms;
  • a consumer protection framework that is fit for purpose and ensures that consumers’ best interests are protected; and
  • regulated firms that are fully compliant with their obligations and are treating their customers, existing and new, in a fair and transparent way.

Consumer Protection

This framework puts the Consumer at its centre, where the focus of firms must be on delivering positive consumer outcomes within a regulatory framework that is fit for purpose. This can only be achieved where firms have a consumer-focused Culture which enables consumers to have Confidence in both the financial decisions they are making and the firms they are dealing with.

The Central Bank will continue to Challenge firms, where their focus is not on those consumer outcomes. This includes our gatekeeper role, where applicant firms can expect rigorous and challenging application of the published requirements and standards (including those derived from EU law). There is a need and appetite for appropriate regulatory action where Compliance standards are not being met.

We adopt a risk and evidence-based approach in prioritising our work (including carrying out an annual risk assessment to identify current and emerging risks), which ensures that we are focusing our resources on those areas where we consider there to be a significant threat to our consumer protection objectives. This is in addition to our ongoing engagements with key stakeholders and advice from the Consumer Advisory Group. We monitor compliance with consumer protection requirements through:

Other useful links

Additional information which you may find useful is available in the links below:

* With effect from 1 March 2010, the statutory consumer information and education functions transferred to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

Industry Presentations

A Regulatory Perspective on Consumer Risk | pdf 462 KB Preparing for applications under PSD2 regulatory implications from Brexit | pdf 545 KB