Supervision Process for Retail Credit Firms and Home Reversion Firms  

General

The supervision of conduct of business for firms providing credit and home reversion firms is concerned mainly with the sales process, provision of information to consumers and complaints handling. 
This aspect of retail credit and home reversion firms is carried out by the Consumer Protection Codes Department.

Consumer Protection Code

In order to ensure a consistent level of protection for consumers regardless of the type of financial services provider they choose, the Consumer Protection Code (the Code) was introduced in August 2006. Following the introduction of legislation governing the authorisation of retail credit firms and home reversion firms, an Addendum to the Code was issued in May 2008. 

The Consumer Protection Code has been updated and this revised Consumer Protection Code replaces the original Consumer Protection Code introduced in August 2006 and is effective from 1 January 2012.

Consumer Protection Code 2012 | pdf 1750 KB

Minimum Competency Requirements

The Minimum Competency Requirements (the Requirements) were introduced on 1 January 2007 and established minimum professional standards for financial services providers, with particular emphasis on areas dealing with consumers. The Requirements were introduced to ensure that consumers obtain a minimum acceptable level of competence from individuals acting for or on behalf of regulated firms in the provision of advice and associated activities in connection with retail financial products. An Addendum to the Requirements for Retail Credit Firms and Home Reversion Firms was issued in May 2008 and was implemented on 1 June 2008. 

The Minimum Competency Requirements have been updated and the Minimum Competency Code 2011 came into effect on 1 December 2011.

Minimum Competency Code 2011 | pdf 1173 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 

Approval of Charges

Retail credit and home reversion firms who are also prescribed credit institutions under the Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (as amended) must make a submission to the Central Bank of Ireland if they wish to introduce or increase, charges in respect of a service such as:

  • Making and receiving payments; 
  • Providing foreign exchange facilities; 
  • Providing and granting credit; and 
  • Maintaining and administrating transaction accounts

The Central Bank of Ireland reviews these submissions and either approves the charge in full, accepts the proposal but at lower levels requested by the entity or rejects the proposal. 

The Central Bank of Ireland assesses each submission based on the following criteria which are set down in legislation:

  • the promotion of fair competition; 
  • the impact new charges or increases in existing charges will have on customers; 
  • how the bank justifies its proposed new charges or increase in existing charges; and 
  • a firm passing any costs on to its customers