New protections for whistleblowers in new laws
New provisions to protect whistleblowers have been included in new legislation just published by the Government which will also give the Central Bank more powers to regulate banks.
Under the plan, whistleblowers will be protected from civil liability and victimisation and fines on offenders are being doubled from €5m to €10m for companies and €500m to €1m for individuals.
The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011 is a response to the regulatory failures that contributed to the financial crisis and Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the changes proposed would underpin an assertive, risk-based model of regulation supported by a credible threat of enforcement.
“The publication of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011 represents a significant further step in the reform of financial regulation in Ireland,” said Minister Noonan.
“The changes introduced by the bill will underpin an assertive, risk-based model of regulation supported by a credible threat of enforcement.”
It is also a requirement under the EU-IMF programme of support for Ireland.
Under the proposals, the Central Bank will be given greater access to information and analysis and it will also have the power to intervene in serious issues including ordering firms to take certain action or halt certain activities.
It will also allow the Central Bank to ask banks to submit reports from independent experts on regulatory issues.
The Central Bank will also be allowed to use its information-gathering and authorised officer powers to collect information in co-operation with overseas regulators.