Enforcement Fitness and Probity 

The Central Bank has statutory enforcement powers in respect of the Fitness and Probity Regime as set out in Part 3 of the Central Bank Reform Act 2010. These statutory enforcement powers can be divided into three main areas.

RFSP’s due diligence obligations

In accordance with Section 21 of the Central Bank Reform Act 2010, RFSPs shall not permit an individual to perform a CF/PCF unless it is satisfied that they comply with the Fitness and Probity Standards and the individual has agreed in writing to abide by those Standards. The Central Bank has published Guidance on the Fitness and Probity Standards. RFSPs have a continuing obligation to ensure compliance by all individuals performing CFs/PCFs with the Fitness and Probity Standards. The Central Bank recommends that RFSPs carry out an audit on an annual basis of persons performing CFs/PCFs.

Where a RFSP becomes aware that there may be concerns regarding the fitness and probity of an individual performing a CF/PCF, the Central Bank expects the RFSP to investigate such concerns and take action as appropriate without delay. The RFSP should also notify the Central Bank without delay of any action taken.

Failure to comply with Section 21 may result in an investigation and the imposition of sanctions under the Administrative Sanctions Procedure (“ASP”) by the Central Bank on a RFSP and/or individuals concerned in management of RFSP’s.

Gatekeeper Role

In accordance with Section 23 of the Central Bank Reform Act 2010, the Central Bank may refuse to approve the appointment of individuals to PCF roles where there are concerns in relation to the individual’s fitness and/or probity. In order to determine whether the individual’s fitness and/or probity is appropriate to perform the proposed PCF, the Central Bank may request the individual (or specified officer/employee of the applicant RFSP) to produce certain information/documents, answer questions or attend for interview.

If the Central Bank is not satisfied that an individual is of appropriate fitness and/or probity to perform the PCF, the Central Bank may refuse the appointment of the individual. A refusal to approve the appointment by the Central Bank is an appealable decision to the Irish Financial Services Appeals Tribunal

For further details of the application process, individuals and RFSPs should refer to:

Guidance on Fitness and Probity standards 2018 | pdf 984 KB

Investigations & Prohibition/Suspension Notices

Fitness and Probity Investigation

In accordance with Section 25 of the Central Bank Reform Act 2010, the Central Bank has the power to conduct an investigation in relation to the fitness and probity of an individual who is currently performing a CF/PCF or who is proposed to be appointed to a CF, where the Deputy Governor (Financial Regulation) is of the opinion that:

  • there is reason to suspect the individual’s fitness and probity to perform the relevant controlled function, and
  • in the circumstances an investigation is warranted into that individual’s fitness and probity.

Suspension Notice

Where an individual’s fitness and probity is or has been the subject of an investigation under Section 25 of the Central Bank Reform Act 2010, and the Deputy Governor (Financial Regulation) is satisfied that it is necessary in the interests of the proper regulation of the RFSP that the individual not perform the relevant CF/PCF, the Central Bank may issue a Suspension Notice to a RFSP to immediately remove an individual from a particular CF/PCF, a specified part of a CF/PCF or all CFs/PCFs.  This is an interim measure used by the Central Bank for a specific period while an investigation is ongoing.

Prohibition Notice

If, at the end of an investigation under Section 25 of the Central Bank Reform Act 2010, the Bank or the Governor has reasonably formed the opinion that an individual is not of appropriate fitness and probity to perform a CF/PCF; a specified part of a CF/PCF or any CF/PCF, the Central Bank has the statutory power to issue a Prohibition Notice prohibiting an individual from carrying out a CF/PCF; a specified part of a CF/PCF or any CF/PCF, either for a specified period or indefinitely, and in relation to one or more or every regulated entities.  Further, the Central Bank has the statutory power to publish a Prohibition Notice where it is deemed necessary for the purposes of the Central Bank Reform Act 2010. Read our  public statements about prohibition notices.

The above is a high-level overview of the Central Bank’s statutory powers in respect of the prohibition and suspension of in-situ CF/PCF holders. For further details on Investigations, Suspension and Prohibition Notices, individuals and RFSPs should refer to:

Guidance On Investigations under Part 3 of the Central Bank Reform Act 2010 (March 2012) | pdf 1007 KB