Consumer Advisory Group
On 2 February 2011, the Central Bank appointed five members to its Consumer Advisory Group. The role of the Consumer Advisory Group is to advise the Central Bank on its performance in relation to protecting consumers of financial services.
Appointments to the Consumer Advisory Group are for a three-year period and members serve on a voluntary basis.
The members of the Consumer Advisory Group are:
Michael Culloty holds a senior position in the Money Advice & Budgetary Service (MABS) as National Social Policy and Communications Officer and is also the media spokesperson for MABS. He has wide experience and knowledge on consumer’s interactions with lenders.
Dermott Jewell is CEO of the Consumers Association of Ireland. He is Chairperson of the Financial Services Ombudsman Council and Chairperson/Director of the Irish European Consumer Centre (ECC).
Elaine Kempson is currently an independent consultant based in the UK. She is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Bristol where she was formerly Director of Personal Finance Research Centre. She has almost 30 years of experience in research in consumer behaviour and has worked on a number of studies for regulatory and international bodies, including World Bank, OECD and the UK Financial Services Authority. She is also a non-executive director of the UK Financial Ombudsman Service.
Bill Knight is currently an independent consultant based in Canada. He was formerly the Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. He established and is currently the Chair of the International Forum for Consumer Regulators. He also has extensive experience in the credit union sector in Canada.
Dr Anthony Walsh
Until his retirement in 2011, Professor Anthony Walsh was Chief Executive of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland. Previously he spent 20 years at Dublin City University (DCU), where he was Professor of Accounting and Dean of the Business School. He is chairman of the board of Invent DCU, the University’s innovation, commercialisation and enterprise development company.
Summary of the meetings to date:
08 February 2011
Topics discussed were the Review of the Consumer Protection Code and the Review of the Operation of Section 149 of the Consumer Credit Act.
14 April 2011
Topics discussed were the Review of the Consumer Protection Code, Review of the Operation of Section 149 of the Consumer Credit Act, Tracker Mortgages and restrictions on the operation of bank accounts.
26 July 2011
Topics discussed were on the Review of the Consumer Protection Code, Review of the SME Code, Mortgage Arrears, Market Intelligence and the long term strategy for the Consumer Protection Directorate.
08 September 2011
Participants joined in a workshop to develop the Consumer Protection Directorate Strategy for 2012 - 2014.
10 November 2011
Topics discussed were the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Strategy, Bankruptcy Legislation and Resolution and the Roll-out Process and Implementation Programme for the Consumer Protection Code.
14 February 2012
During the February meeting of the Consumer Advisory Group, updates on the issue of Basic Bank Accounts and the Review of Debt Management Companies were given to Members. The Consumer Protection Directorate gave a presentation on the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Scheme. Papers were presented on the roll-out to industry bodies of the 2012 Consumer Protection Code and the issue of how industry should deal with unsolicited contacts with consumers. A short discussion took place on the proposed commissioning of research into remuneration structures to inform opinion of how this area should be regulated. The members were also invited to give their opinions on the factors that influence consumers to switch current accounts. Finally the members received a presentation of the EU Regulatory Framework under which the Central Bank operates.
16 August 2012
The members of the Consumer Advisory Group were given an update on a technical issue which arose in the banking sector and the establishment of the Central Bank incident group to respond to the problem. A discussion took place on Client Asset Requirements, focusing on the review currently taking place and the Bank’s participation in the Joint Industry Working Group. A brief presentation was given on the proposed introduction of Personal Insolvency Legislation to assess the group’s views to regulation of Personal Insolvency Practitioners. The remainder of the meeting focussed on consideration of the Central Bank of Ireland draft strategy for 2013-2015.
Financial Services Consultative Panels
The Central Bank Reform Act 2010 replaced the Financial Services Consultative Consumer Panel and the Financial Services Consultative Industry Panel with the new advisory arrangements set out above. You can still access information in relation to the Consultative Panels and view their work, which has now been archived, here.