The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has commenced a process of reviewing the Consumer Protection Code 2012 (the Code), with a view towards its modernisation and to ensure that it is fit for purpose and protects consumers of financial products today. The Code sets out principles and rules that regulated financial firms are required to follow when they:
- Sell financial products and services;
- Give financial information or advice;
- Advertise financial products or services; or
- Handle complaints.
The review is being conducted in three phases:
Phase 1 is a discussion paper launched on the topic of consumer protection with a view towards stimulating discussion and feedback;
Phase 2 is a public consultation phase to be launched in Q4 2023; and
Phase 3 involves finalising a revised retail conduct framework.
The CBI has commenced Phase I of the review by publishing a discussion paper, inviting consumers and market participants to participate. In addition to setting out an overview of the purpose of financial regulation and consumer protection and setting out two broad discussion themes focusing on Availability and Choice and Firms Acting in Consumers’ Best Interests, the Discussion Paper sets out eight sub-themes which seek to explore important topical issues for consumers, and posing 28 questions for consideration by participants.
The sub-themes set out in the Discussion Paper are:
Innovation and disruption
The publication of the discussion paper is a clear "starting gun" on a wider review and process of upgrading and updating the Code and indicates the areas where the CBI is considering introducing changes to the Code. Market participants should consider engaging with the process so as to better influence the CBI's approach in respect of an important part of their regulatory obligations. The CBI has also launched an on-line survey which can be accessed on the CBI website.
The results of the on-line survey and feedback to the Discussion Paper received will inform the CBI's proposed revisions to the Code which will in turn be the subject of a formal public consultation on proposed changes to the Code, to take place in 2023.
For more information in relation to any of the above please contact our Head of Banking and Finance Daniel Cashman or your usual contact in Beauchamps.