Central Bank communication to firms seeking authorisation in 2018

MiFID Firms

Date: 16 February 2018

The Central Bank of Ireland (the Central Bank) is responsible for the authorisation and supervision of a wide range of firms. The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU has resulted in a number of UK based firms engaging with the Central Bank as they seek to restructure to continue to provide service within the EU27, post Brexit. In addition there are a number of branches of UK entities in Ireland who as a result of Brexit, must also consider their future corporate structures. At this time, the Central Bank would strongly encourage any firm, seeking authorisation in 2018, not just those considering authorisation in light of Brexit, to engage with us as soon as possible. Firms that have already engaged with the Central Bank, but have yet to proceed to the application process, should also be mindful of the authorisation timelines.


The Central Bank remains committed to a transparent, robust and timely approach to the authorisation process[1] and to that end has committed significant additional resources to deal with these enquiries.  

The authorisation process[2] requires both applicant firms and the Central Bank to dedicate sufficient resources to ensure that the proposed applicant has demonstrated to the Central Bank that it is well-run, financially sound and complies with EU and Irish authorisation requirements. The process also requires firms to clearly demonstrate to the Central Bank that they meet the applicable standards. Applicant firms should be planning for a comprehensive authorisation process with appropriate challenge, and that applications will likely require a longer timeframe in cases of complexity or where the Central Bank remains to be satisfied that the firm meets the required standards. 

With this in mind, those firms requiring authorisation should not delay in engaging with the Central Bank. A well-structured, well-prepared approach by firms is necessary. Such an approach combined with timely engagement should be part of any firm’s Brexit planning.

The Central Bank has updated its FAQs to reflect the above. There are also 2 new additional FAQs in relation to the impact of any transition period on firms’ planning and the need for Irish authorised firms with activities in the UK to engage with UK authorities.

[1]Specific information on the authorisation process and the authorisation timelines for each sector are available on the Central Bank’s website. The Central Bank also publishes a bi-annual Regulatory Service Standards Report that outlines our performance against service standards in respect of firm authorisation.

[2]The processing of Fitness and Probity Pre-Approved Control Function Individual Questionnaire applications is an important element of the authorisation process.