Application Process for Retail Intermediaries 

The purpose of this section is to provide information to firms considering applying for authorisation as an insurance intermediary, investment intermediary, mortgage credit intermediary and/or mortgage intermediary (collectively referred to here as retail intermediaries).  The Central Bank of Ireland (the Central Bank) is the competent authority in Ireland for the authorisation and supervision of retail intermediaries under the:

  • European Communities (Insurance Distribution) Regulations 2018 (IDR) (insurance intermediaries);
  • Investment Intermediaries Act 1995 (IIA) (investment intermediaries);
  • European Union (Consumer Mortgage Credit Agreements) Regulations 2016 (CMCAR) (mortgage credit intermediaries); and
  • Consumer Credit Act 1995 (CCA) (mortgage intermediaries).

Each applicant seeking authorisation must satisfy the Central Bank that it can meet the authorisation standards set out in the IDR, IIA, CMCAR and/or CCA, as appropriate.  In fulfilling its statutory role in this regard, the Central Bank adopts a robust, structured and risk-based process that seeks to ensure that only those applicants that demonstrate compliance with the relevant authorisation requirements are authorised.

The Central Bank seeks to process each application as expeditiously as possible while meeting its obligation to operate a rigorous and effective gatekeeper function.  It aims to ensure that the application process is facilitative and accessible from the perspective of applicants and, importantly, that applicants have clarity with regard to the process, its requirements and timelines.

Key Stages in the Application Process

Central Bank Amends Duration of Authorisation Granted to Applicants Seeking Authorisation as a Mortgage Intermediary (October 2017)

Following the introduction of the enhanced Authorisation Process Model set out above for the Retail Intermediary sector in 2016, the Central Bank has completed a review of the Mortgage Intermediary renewal process.  The Central Bank has revised its approach regarding the duration of the authorisation granted to applicants seeking authorisation under the Consumer Credit Act 1995 (as amended) (the CCA) and/or under the European Union (Consumer Mortgage Credit Agreements) Regulations 2016 (the CMCAR). 

The Central Bank has to date issued an authorisation to such applicants, where they have demonstrated that they meet the relevant authorisation requirements, for a finite duration of up to 10 years, thereby requiring authorised firms to seek the renewal of their existing authorisation prior to the date of its expiry.  The Central Bank has now moved to a model whereby an authorisation will be granted for an indefinite duration (i.e. an evergreen authorisation). 

The effect of this change will mean that an applicant that is granted an authorisation for a period of indefinite duration will no longer be required to seek the renewal of its existing authorisation.  An applicant granted such an authorisation will continue to be subject to and expected to be in a position to demonstrate its compliance with all relevant legislative and regulatory requirements. 

An existing firm authorised under the CCA and/or under the CMCAR should continue to be cognisant of the relevant renewal date of its existing authorisation and ensure that it submits an application for authorisation to the Central Bank seeking the renewal of its existing authorisation in sufficient time to allow the application process outlined above to be completed in advance of the relevant expiry date.  Any such applications already submitted to the Central Bank or submitted in the future will be processed in line with the application process outlined above. 

New applicants should submit an application for authorisation to the Central Bank in line with the application process outlined above.

Any queries in relation to the above should be directed to the following email address:  RIAuthorisations@centralbank.ie

Authorisation process under the CMCAR for Tied Mortgage Credit Intermediaries tied to only one creditor

Regulation 32 (2) sets out that an authorisation of a Tied Mortgage Credit Intermediary who acts on behalf of, and under the full and unconditional responsibility of, only one creditor, is effected by an application under Regulation 30 by the creditor on whose behalf the Tied Mortgage Credit Intermediary is exclusively acting. An application for authorisation under the CMCAR as a Tied Mortgage Credit Intermediary tied to only one creditor must, in addition to fulfilling the requirements and containing all documentation outlined above for all Retail Intermediary applications, also be accompanied by a Creditor Declaration Form completed by the mortgage provider on whose behalf the applicant intends to act.

Creditor Declaration Form | doc 444 KB

Service Standards Performance Reports

Please find a link to the Service Standards Performance Reports page.
The reports set out the Central Bank's performance against Service Standards that it has committed to in respect of (i) Authorisation of Funds, (ii) Authorisation of Financial Service Providers and (iii) Processing of Fitness and Probity applications, on a half-yearly basis.