Thursday, 15 July 2021
Consumer Protection (Regulation of Retail Credit and Credit Servicing Firms) Bill 2021: Second Stage (Resumed)
I have a few more remarks to make on the Bill. I thank the Acting Chairman. Section 2 is the key section. It amends section 28 of the Central Bank Act 1997. Section 28 sets out the various definitions for the purposes of Part V of the 1997 Act and defines the scope of the Central Bank authorisation responsibilities in respect of "regulated businesses" that are involved in the provision of certain types of financial services. The Bill provides for widening the regulatory scope of "retail credit firms" and "credit servicing firms" so as to include also the direct and indirect provision and servicing of credit, hire purchase, PCP and consumer hire agreements as those agreements are currently defined in the Consumer Credit Act 1995. Accordingly, any entity which provides these types of agreements to relevant persons will now come within the authorisation and regulatory scope of the Central Bank. This will then allow the Central Bank to apply its consumer protection code and other consumer protection and relevant regulatory measures to such firms and therefore facilitate the implementation of the key Tutty report recommendation on PCPs, about which I spoke earlier. I welcome this pro-consumer legislation and am happy to support it. I thank the Minister of State, Deputy Fleming, and his officials for bringing it forward.
I am not sure whether I will be able to get speaking time later on this afternoon but, as we conclude the term, a year into this Dáil, it is appropriate to thank the Cathaoirleach Gníomhach, the Ceann Comhairle, the Leas-Cheann Comhairle and all the staff as this may be the last time we sit here in the convention centre. I hear many people who are happy with that but it is thanks to the convention centre and to the facilities that have been offered to the House over recent months and during the pandemic that we have been able to conduct our business safely. I thank the staff of the Oireachtas for the assistance and support they have provided to all Members of the House over recent months and for facilitating us. I also thank the gardaí, the ushers and everybody else involved. I thank the Cathaoirleach Gníomhach for allowing me back in. I may touch on some other points if I have an opportunity to speak again later.