Supervision Process for Brokers / Retail Intermediaries  

General

The supervision process for a broker /retail intermediary mirrors the general supervision approach of the Central Bank of Ireland.  This general supervision approach seeks to ensure that all regulated financial services providers meet their responsibilities to have strong management, internal control and compliance procedures in place, and have people of integrity and competence at all levels in their organisations.  All Irish authorised financial service providers are expected to implement best practice.

Governance and Systems

Firms should have appropriate corporate governance in place.  Firms should also have systems and policies in place to mitigate risk and monitor compliance with their internal policies.  

Supervisory Process

Our supervisory process is carried out by way of 

  • Regular correspondence and engagement with firms under our supervision 
  • Analysis of documentation submitted to the Central Bank  
  • Inspections 

Fitness & Probity 

A sound and effective "fit and proper" test is a critical component of the regulatory regime. To ensure the proper discharge of their responsibilities, it is important that Directors/Managers have the skills to manage a broker/retail intermediary. 
“Fitness” requires that a person appointed as a Director/Manager has the necessary qualifications, skills and experience (i.e. knowledge and ability) to perform the duties of that position. “Probity” requires that a person is honest, fair and ethical (i.e. is of good repute).
Before a new Director/Manager is appointed they must complete an Individual Questionnaire (IQ) which should be endorsed by the proposing broker / retail intermediary before submission for approval to the Central Bank. View our Fitness and Probity page for guidance on approval of persons.  Persons may also be requested to complete and return a Garda Vetting Application Form, when it is intended to carry out a Garda check.    

Consumer Protection Code 

The Consumer Protection Code was fully implemented in July 2007.  It is a set of general principles and detailed requirements covering many aspects of a financial services provider’s relationship with a consumer. It covers areas such as:

  • Providing financial products and services to consumers
  • Giving information and advice to consumers
  • Advertising financial products and services
  • Handling complaints 
Consumer Protection Code 2006 | pdf 2389 KB Consumer Protection Code 2012 (effective from 1 January 2012) | pdf 1791 KB

As per the Consumer Protection Code, a regulated entity must resolve all errors speedily and no later than six months after the date the error was first discovered. Where an error which affects consumers has not been fully resolved within 40 business days of the date the error was first discovered, a regulated entity must inform the Central Bank, on paper or on another durable medium, within five business days of that deadline. The below Error Notification Template can be used as a guide in the event an error is to be reported. Correspondence should be sent to brokers@centralbank.ie.

Error Notification Template | doc 26 KB

Minimum Competency Requirements

These Requirements are designed to establish minimum standards across all financial services providers from which consumers seek advice on, or seek to purchase, retail financial products. 
The Requirements apply to the staff of brokers / retail intermediaries who:

  • Provide advice to consumers on retail financial products 
  • Arrange or offer to arrange retail financial products for consumers 
  • Undertake certain specified activities 
Minimum Competency Requirements 2006 | pdf 947 KB Minimum Competency Code 2011 (effective from 1 December 2011). | pdf 1200 KB

Conduct of Business Supervisory Process 

We monitor compliance with the Consumer Protection Code and other conduct of business requirements by way of:

  • Advertising monitoring
  • Themed inspections
  • General inspections
  • Mystery shopping 

To promote compliance, we provide Feedback on Themed Inspections and publish the main findings on our website. Breaches of regulatory requirements are dealt with in accordance with our Administrative Sanctions Procedure.