Written answers

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Department of Finance

Financial Services Regulation

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal, Sinn Fein)
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134. To ask the Minister for Finance the estimated saving that would accrue from moving the entire cost of regulation of the financial sector onto the industry with the exception of credit unions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24863/19]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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The Central Bank's total funding requirement for financial regulation activity is determined on an annual basis by the resources required to discharge its legal responsibilities under domestic and EU law. Section 32D and 32E of the Central Bank Act 1942, as amended, provide that the Central Bank Commission may make regulations relating to the imposition of levies and fees on the financial services sector in respect of the recoupment of the costs of financial regulation.

As it stands, the financial services industry currently funds 80% of the costs incurred by the Central Bank for financial regulation, with certain exceptions. [Banks which had participated in the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee (ELG) Scheme, namely AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB, which are required to fund 100% of the Central Bank's regulatory costs. The levies for Credit Unions are currently capped at 0.01% of total assets as at 30 September in the previous year. As a result, the Credit Union sector currently funds approximately 9% of the cost of their regulation.] This means that the subvention from the Central Bank amounts to approximately 20% of the total cost. What this translates to in monetary terms will be determined by the resources required by the Bank to discharge its legal responsibilities during a given year.

In 2018, the cost of financial regulation activities was funded by levy income of €129 million and subvention of €66 million.

If industry was fully charged, there would be no subvention, however, there are certain costs (e.g. markets supervision) which it may be appropriate to continue to subvent on an ongoing basis where the costs cannot be attributed to specific firms but do relate to the orderly function of markets and the financial stability agenda.

In 2015, the Department of Finance and Central Bank of Ireland issued a joint public consultation on ‘Funding the cost of Financial Regulation’ (CP95).

In response to that consultation, my predecessor as Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, agreed to a phased movement towards 100 per cent Industry Funding in order to eliminate subvention, by the taxpayer, of regulatory costs. Since then, recovery rates have increased in stages across most industry sectors, determined on a yearly basis. Now, in order to give greater clarity to industry, I have approved the trajectory to bring the recovery rate of levies across sectors to 100 per cent over the coming years. This change in policy will apply the user pays principle to the regulation of financial services.

The table below shows the planned trajectory for levy rates across all sectors. Credit Union recovery rates from 2022 onwards will be subject to review and a public consultation to guide strategy once 50% recovery rates have been achieved. The Central Bank published this trajectory on 14 June 2019 and it is available on the Central Bank website at the following link:

Levy Year2017201820192020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Levied in 20172018202020212022202320242025
ELG Banks100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Insurance Undertakings65%80%90%100%100%100%100%100%
Investment Firms & Fund Service Providers65%80%90%100%100%100%100%100%
Retail Intermediaries & Debt Management Co’s50%65%70%75%80%90%100%100%
Approved Professional Bodies65%65%70%75%80%90%100%100%
Bureau de Change/Money Transmitters65%65%70%75%80%90%100%100%
Retail Credit / Home Reversion / Credit Servicing Firms65%65%70%75%80%90%100%100%
Payment & EMoney Institutions65%65%70%75%80%90%100%100%

Invoices for 2019 levies will issue on an arrears basis in Quarter 3 2020 as the Central Bank implements its strategy to move from levies based on budgeted to lives based on actual costs. This is to address an aspect of volatility in response to industry feedback by eliminating large balancing surpluses and deficits in favour of levies based on the Central Bank’s audited financial statements. While businesses should accrue for 2019 costs in their financial statements, many will welcome the cashflow effect arising from this change.

Further information can be found in the Funding Strategy and Guide to the 2018 Industry Funding Regulation, where the Central Bank set out its 3-year funding strategy. The Strategy document is available on the Central Bank website at the following .


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