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30 December 20228 minute read

2022 A Record Year for Central Bank of Ireland Fines

During 2022 the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) imposed fines totalling EUR213,586,000 on eight firms – these are outlined in the Table below. This represents a sharp but yet consistent year-on-year increase in the levels of fines imposed in previous years (EUR66.8m in 2021, EUR24.5m in 2020, EUR28.1m in 2019).

Level of Average Fine

The average fine imposed during 2022 was EUR26.6m, representing a doubling of the EUR13.3m average fine imposed during 2021, and very significantly higher than the averages of other recent years (EUR8.1m in 2020, EUR4.3m in 2019).

An Exceptional Year

The year was somewhat exceptional for a couple of reasons. It was the year when the CBI imposed its highest ever fine – just over EUR100m on Bank of Ireland.

It was also the year in which the CBI imposed fines on three firms (Bank of Ireland, AIB and EBS) totalling EUR197m for tracker mortgage-related failings. Those fines were in addition to the fines imposed in recent years on a number of other banks for tracker mortgage issues (eg EUR37.7m on Ulster Bank in 2021; EUR18.3m on KBC in 2020; EUR21m on PTSB in 2019; EUR4.5m on Springboard Mortgages in 2016).

Another first was the imposition of a fine on a firm (Danske Bank A/S) which is incorporated and supervised outside of Ireland (ie in Denmark) but which operates in Ireland as a branch. This sets an important precedent for the CBI to take further enforcement actions against firms which it supervises purely on a conduct of business basis.

Outlook for 2023

The imposition of fines during 2022 for tracker mortgage-related failings by banks is likely free up valuable resources within the CBI's Enforcement Division who will undoubtedly be seeking out other opportunities to scrutinise regulatory breaches and hold firms to account.

2023 will see individual accountability taking centre stage, particularly as the long-awaited Central Bank (Individual Accountability) Bill 2022 will finally be enacted. While the central elements of that Bill will not come into force immediately, many firms are already taking steps in preparation for the introduction of the new individual accountability regime.

Table: Fines Imposed by CBI During 2022

Date of Public Statement Firm Name Fine Imposed  Nature of Breaches 
02/03/2022 Insure4Less Teoranta t/a Kerry Insurance Group EUR8,400 Fitness and Probity Obligations
24/03/2022 BNY Mellon Fund Services (Ireland) DAC EUR10,780,000 Outsourcing of Fund Administration Activities
23/06/2022 EBS d.a.c. EUR13,400,000 Tracker Mortgage-Related Failings
23/06/2022 Allied Irish Banks p.l.c. EUR83,300,000

Tracker Mortgage-Related Failings

15/09/2022 Danske Bank A/S EUR1,820,000

Anti-Money Laundering Requirements

29/09/2022 Bank of Ireland EUR100,520,000

Tracker Mortgage-Related Failings

16/11/2022 Mercer Global Investments Management Limited EUR117,600

UCITS Investment Fund Regulations

09/12/2022 AXA Life Europe DAC EUR3,640,000
  • Corporate Governance
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