THE Central Bank handed down fines totalling €8.5m last year, resulting from 16 enforcement settlements.
The bank highlighted the figure as it set out its enforcement priorities for the year ahead, focusing on issues such as payment protection insurance, anti-money laundering and counter- terrorist financing, errors and overcharging and payment services regulations.
Fines issued by Dame Street last year included €1.23m given to Aviva Life & Pensions amid claims that its administrative procedures and internal controls were not adequate for its stock-lending activity.
A fine of €20,000 was handed down to Dolmen Stockbrokers after it breached market abuse regulations. And a €65,000 fine was given to Merrion Stockbrokers for failing to report a number of transactions.
Derville Rowland, head of Enforcement 1 Division, said enforcement played an important role by providing a credible threat and acting as a deterrent.
"This is the third year the Enforcement Directorate has published a list of Enforcement Priorities highlighting areas of significant importance to the Central Bank," Ms Rowland said.
"We have again worked closely with our Supervisory Divisions to prioritise the areas of greatest concern to them."
The Central Bank also published a programme of themed reviews and inspections for the year ahead .
These include examinations of the code of conduct on mortgage arrears, money lending firms, sales incentives in the banking, insurance, investment, and stockbroking sectors and property insurance claims handling.
The bank said the reviews and inspections were an important part of the Central Bank's supervisory work, allowing for review and assessment of risks.
"The publication of planned themed inspections enables the relevant sectors to prepare and raise standards across the firms in each sector," the bank said.