Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach
Law Reform Commission Report on Regulatory Powers and Corporate Offences: Engagement
Mr. Raymond Byrne:
In both those instances, as Mr. O'Malley said, there are different approaches. The corporate entity, or the four walls, as the Senator says, cannot be jailed. The penalties that might be imposed can, at the top of the range, include a licence revocation in a licensing system. In the proposals that we make for regulatory enforcement agreements and settlements, we have said that the range of penalties and approaches that can be taken can be quite wide-ranging for the regulator. They can include the consumer redress schemes that we saw with the tracker mortgage scandal. They can also include situations where a requirement would be imposed on the entity, including the senior managers, to engage in reformed procedures to ensure what has been identified as a problem is, as far as possible, not repeated in the future. The regulators have that capacity. We recommend that the full range of that capacity should be explored by a regulator in deciding if an entity is capable of being rescued in the sense of being able to comply. The regulator should be able to oversee various steps and ensure that they are implemented in the future to fix the problem. That can sometimes involve either retraining people or giving people the competence to show that they are able to comply, and that the risk management is appropriate with regard to the corporate governance requirements that might be in place from the regulator.