Thursday, 28 November 2019
Department of Finance
The introduction of an Annual Financial Services Bill was a suggestion from some of the industry representative bodies during the consultation process for the development of Ireland for Finance (IFF), the Government's Strategy for the development of Ireland's international financial services sector to 2025 which was launched on 26th April last.
However, there already is a significant amount of legislative work undertaken by the different parts of the Banking/Financial Services Divisions in the Department and the Permanent Representation in Brussels every year.
The vast majority of legislation in financial services is based on European Directives or Regulations. In the first instance, these need to be agreed within Council and with Parliament. This process involves analysis and formulation of legislative proposals, compromise texts, negotiations with different Member States, and engagement with the Central Bank as well as with industry as the legislation is developed at European level.
After the European Directive/Regulation has been agreed, these have to be then transposed into Irish law via Statutory Instrument (SI) under the European Communities Act 1972 or primary legislation. While European Regulations have direct effect, some provisions of Regulations also have to be transposed by legislation.
The process for transposing European legislation involves decisions on discretions, preparations of consultation papers, engagement with the Central Bank, industry and the Attorney General's office (particularly the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel).
Given the significant amount of work currently being done in the financial services area on legislation on a continuous basis, coupled with the strong element of EU engagement on this legislation, there is no rationale for an Annual Financial Services Bill.
However, in light of the request for this initiative during the development of IFF, the Ireland for Finance Industry Advisory Committee have been tasked with identifying and making submissions on national legislative proposals that they consider important to further develop the operating environment under Action 14 (National legislative and regulatory proposals) of the Ireland for Finance Action Plan for 2019. An update on this measure will be provided as part of the Q4 Progress Report under Ireland for Finance.