Financial Services Ireland welcomes new CBI Individual Accountability Framework Standards and Guidance

November 16, 2023
  • Central Bank regulatory sandbox represents 'level shift' for industry
  • FSI calls for Government to establish new FinTech Hub

Financial Services Ireland (FSI), the Ibec group representing the financial services sector, welcomes the publication today of the new Individual Accountability Framework (IAF) Standards and Guidance by the Central Bank of Ireland. At the FSI annual dinner this evening, where Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath T.D., is the keynote speaker, FSI will welcome the decision by the Central Bank to introduce a regulatory sandbox and will call on the Government to establish a dedicated Fintech hub.

Speaking about the IAF, Director of FSI Patricia Callan said: “We are pleased to note a number of FSI’s specific recommendations reflected in the final publication, such as the extension of the lead-in period for the Senior Executive Accountability Regime for Independent Non-Executive Directors, the allowance for continued self-certification for a significant portion of employees, the provision for sharing roles in limited circumstances, and the enhanced clarity and efficiency in the design of some prescribed responsibilities. FSI also welcomes CBI’s stated intention to apply the regime in a proportionate and predictable manner, with reasonable expectations. FSI will continue its engagement with its members to provide support in implementing the guidelines.”
During the dinner, which brings together industry leaders and stakeholders, FSI will also welcome the decision by Governor Makhlouf to establish a sandbox, another key ask of FSI.

Patricia Callan added: “While the CBI’s innovation hub was a welcome initiative, the industry believes that expanding Ireland’s capacity to innovate would ensure the competitiveness of Ireland in the global FinTech landscape. A  sandbox would represent a 'level shift' in the financial services industry, enabling more flexibility for firms to experiment in a safe space. It's a clear indication of the increasing strength of Ireland’s ecosystem that enables innovation in financial services.”

In conjunction with the sandbox, and to capitalise on the growth potential, FSI would like to see the establishment of a dedicated FinTech Hub in Ireland. The organisation welcomes Minister Carroll MacNeill's commitment to working towards its establishment.

Joe Heneghan, Chair of FSI (and Partner and CEO of Revolut Europe), said: “As consumer appetite for digital services continues to grow, every firm operating in financial services is now a fintech firm. Ireland can be at the forefront of fintech, and we believe that establishing a dedicated physical space will be a pivotal part of that. We envision the fintech hub to be a vibrant center for innovation, collaboration, and growth, open to everybody in the industry. Such a hub would not merely be a testament to our commitment to the digital evolution in financial services. It would serve as a tangible, bustling ecosystem, where new-age fintech firms can engage with established industry leaders, exchange ideas, and where regulators and state agencies can listen to firms’ experiences and share their perspectives in return. The space would give firms access to a dynamic community of industry peers, providing learning opportunities.”