Newsletter 02/2014
Transparency and Information - The Good and Bad from the Central Bank

It is clear that the more information that Regulated entities have, the easier it is to be compliant with their respective responsibilities. Without clear information from the Central Bank of Ireland, it is difficult for firms to know what to focus on and where to apply adequate resources. A clear example of how a firm can effectively utilise this information is the ‘Dear CEO’ AML letter published by the Bank in October 2012. Firms were advised of the key areas of AML weaknesses that existed through the financial sector. With this information in their arsenal, firms were able to do a review and gap analysis of their procedures and operations and remediate any existing issues or weaknesses. This has obviously had a positive impact on systems and controls as firms adopted appropriate action plans. With this in mind, the Central Bank has recently been guilty of both good and bad practice themselves.



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Central Bank News
Revised Corporate Governance Code for Credit Institutions and Insurance Undertakings
On 23 December 2013, the “Corporate Governance Code for Credit Institutions and Insurance Undertakings 2013” (the “Code”) was published by the Central Bank of Ireland. The Code revises the Corporate Governance Code for Credit Institutions and Insurance Undertakings 2010 (the "2010 Code") but will not come into effect for firms until 1 January 2015. In the meantime, the 2010 Code continues to apply. The Code continues to apply to reinsurance undertakings and excludes captives.

The revised Code contains a number of important changes.

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Financial Crime
Central Bank to Regulate Trust and Company Service Providers for AML
This month, the Department of Justice published Regulations providing that the Central Bank of Ireland would regulate, for anti-money laundering purposes, trust and company service providers that are 100% subsidiaries of a credit or financial institution.

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Princess Cristina of Spain in Court Over Alleged Money Laundering
Last week, we witnessed a historic judicial hearing in which a European royal, a member of the Spanish Monarchy, testified as a suspect in a criminal case in relation to a corruption scandal involving her husband Iñaki Urdangarin, namely alleged tax fraud and the laundering of embezzled money. The hearing was called by Judge Jose Castro who has continued to investigate the matter despite a decision taken by Spanish prosecutors not to pursue the case.

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Ted Cunningham Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering
Nearly five years after Ted Cunningham was originally convicted of laundering £3 million in connection with the now notorious December 2004 "Northern Bank Robbery", charges of which he denied, Mr. Cunningham, on 26 February 2014, pleaded guilty to two of the original ten charges.

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Enforcement
Financial Services Ombudsman Can Name and Shame
The Financial Services Ombudsman was granted the power to name and shame firms against whom complaints are made and substantiated as of 1 September 2013. The Office of the Ombudsman has done just that in its Bi-Annual Review - 1st July to 31st December 2013 published today.

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Insurance News
12 Month Non-Solicitation Period for Insurance Brokers Confirmed
Lengthy non-solicitation periods may hold water following a recent UK court decision in which the court found in favour of the employer insurance brokers against its employee. The court enforced a twelve month non-solicitation period post-termination of employment in respect of certain clients of the firm. Given that UK judgements are considered persuasive in Irish courts, the decision is likely to have a mirrored impact on the insurance industry in Ireland.

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Europe
EBA proposes a definition of 'fixed overheads' and capital charge for use of tied agents

On 29 January 2014, the first draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTSs) for CRD IV in 2014 was published by the European Banking Authority. While the majority of RTSs refer to esoteric aspects of banking, this RTS defines what is meant by 'Fixed Overheads' - a key determinant of cpaital for MiFID firms.


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EBA publishes standard on classes of instruments eligible for variable remuneration use under CRD IV

In order to stop banks and investment firms incentivising their employees to take inappropriate risks, the Capital Requirements Directive ("CRD IV") Remuneration Policy requires a portion of bonuses to be deferred and paid in shares or share-like instruments rather than cash. To avoid cirmcumvention of the requirements by inventive firms, the EBA has published a draft Regulatory Technical Standard ("RTS") on the subject.


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Training
Training March - June 2014

MARCH

11th March, Thurs - Introduction to Financial Services Regulation in Ireland, Half Day

12th March, Wed - Complaints Handling & Treating Customers Fairly, Half Day

13th March, Thurs - Dignity in the Workplace, Brief

13th March, Thurs – AML in Practice: Implementation of Current Legislation and Guidance, Brief

19th March, Wed – Consumer Protection Code – Advertising, Half Day

20th March, Thurs - Risk-Based Compliance Monitoring for Financial Institutions, Full Day

25th March, Tues - Minimum Competency Code, Half Day

26th March, Wed - Ethics, Brief

27th March, Thurs - Capital Requirements Directive III FOR Investment Firms, Full Day

 

APRIL

8th April, Tues - E-Money Directive, Brief

8th April, Tues - Payment Services Directive, Brief

9th April, Wed - Important Employment Law Issues and How to Address Them, Half Day

10th April, Thurs - Role of the Compliance Officer - for Banks and Investment Firms, Half Day

15th April, Tues - Consumer Protection Code 2012, Half Day

16th April, Wed - Central Bank Inspections & Enforcement, Half Day

17th April, Thurs - Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Financing, Full Day

22nd April, Tues - PRISM, Lunch Brief

23rd April, Wed - Corporate Governance, Half Day

24th April, Thurs - Understanding Solvency II, Full Day

29th April, Tues - Data Protection and How to Conduct a Data Protection Audit, Full Day

30th April, Wed - Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, Brief

 

MAY

1st May, Thurs - Role of the Compliance Officer for Insurance Firms, Full Day

7th May, Wed - AML in Practice: Implementation of Current Legislation and Guidance, Brief

8th May, Thurs - Understanding MiFID, Full Day

13th May, Tues - Corporate Governance, Half Day

14th May, Wed – Consumer Protection Code – Advertising, Half Day

15th May, Thurs - Implementing UCITS IV, Half Day

20th May, Tues - Implementing the Directive for Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM), Half Day

21st May, Wed - Payment Services Directive, Brief

22nd May, Thurs - Developments in MiFID 2, Brief

23rd May, Wed - Establishing the Internal Audit Function, Half Day

27th May, Tues - Complaints Handling & Treating Customers Fairly, Half Day

28th May, Wed - Anti-Money Laundering Refresher Course, Brief

29th May, Thurs - Directors Training - Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorist Financing, Brief

 

JUNE

4th June, Wed - Ethics, Brief

5th June, Thurs - Introduction to Financial Services Regulation in Ireland, Half Day

10th June, Tues - Implementing Fit & Proper in your Business, Brief

10th June, Tues - PRISM, Lunch Brief

11th June, Wed - Understanding Funds in Ireland, Half Day

12th June, Thurs - Directors Duties and Corporate Governance, Full Day

17th June, Tues - Dignity in the Workplace, Brief

18th June, Wed - Consumer Protection Code 2012, Half Day

19th June, Thurs - Data Protection and How to Conduct a Data Protection Audit, Full Day

24th June, Tues - Central Bank Inspections and Enforcement, Half Day

25th June, Wed - Risk-Based Compliance Monitoring for Financial Institutions, Full Day

26th June, Thurs - Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Financing, Full Day

27 February 2014
In This Issue
Central Bank News
Revised Corporate Governance Code for Credit Institutions and Insurance Undertakings
Financial Crime
Central Bank to Regulate Trust and Company Service Providers for AML
Princess Cristina of Spain in Court Over Alleged Money Laundering
Ted Cunningham Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering
Enforcement
Financial Services Ombudsman Can Name and Shame
Insurance News
12 Month Non-Solicitation Period for Insurance Brokers Confirmed
Europe
EBA proposes a definition of 'fixed overheads' and capital charge for use of tied agents
EBA publishes standard on classes of instruments eligible for variable remuneration use under CRD IV
Training
Training March - June 2014
Useful Links
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