Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has noted that the Cabinet yesterday approved the drafting of legislation that will provide for, among other things, a Senior Accountability Regime in the financial services sector.
The Donegal TD has said that it is regrettable that the General Scheme has been published three years after an individual accountability regime with enhanced powers was called for by the Central Bank and more than a decade after the financial crash.
Teachta Doherty said:
“More than a decade after the financial crash and three years after the Central Bank report which called for legislation to underpin an individual accountability framework, with enhanced powers of enforcement against those responsible for misconduct, the Minister for Finance has now published the General Scheme of the Central Bank (Individual Accountability Framework) Bill.
“Though welcome, it is frustrating for consumers and the general public that the government have been so slow to produce legislation that will bring individual accountability to the financial services sector despite the misconduct and scandals that have harmed customers and broader society over the past decade.
“The Minister for Finance himself continually missed self-imposed deadlines for the publication of this legislation.
“It is disappointing that the Minister does not expect the new regime to be in place for another twelve to eighteen months – four and a half years after the Central Bank called for these provisions.
“Time wasting by the government has now delayed the introduction of individual accountability mechanisms at the heart of the financial sector; this is a disservice to consumers and broader society.
“However, I welcome the fact that scrutiny of the legislation will soon begin.
“Sinn Féin will work to ensure that it has as wide a remit, and that it comes into effect as speedily as possible.
“We welcome many of its provisions, including the introduction of a Senior Executive Accountability Regime, the breaking of the participation link and enhancements to the Fitness and Probity Regime.
“This legislation has been a long time coming. Too long.
“We must now ensure that it brings about a comprehensive regime to hold individuals to account. This has always been the only way to change the culture at the heart of the financial services sector.”