Central Bank launches consultation on new consumer code

March 8, 2024

Enhanced clarity, predictability and accessibility on consumer protection obligations are among the key aims of a new Consumer Protection Code being developed by the Central Bank.

As part of the process, the regulator has launched a consultation paper on its plans today.

Among the proposals is a requirement for firms to incorporate customers’ interests into their overall business model and commercial decision making.

“This is addressed through an obligation on firms to secure their customers’ interests,” said Deputy Governor, Derville Rowland.

“Guidance will support firms to effectively implement all their consumer protection obligations, in part by describing what firms need to consider and the actions they need to take to deliver positive consumer outcomes.”

The consultation also proposes fresh protections to address the changing nature of financial services.

Among the areas addressed will be digitalisation, as well as mortgage and credit switching.

There will also be protections against unregulated activities, frauds and scams and climate risk.

“This package includes proposals around making digital platforms easier to use; making clear where regulated firms are providing unregulated services; a new definition of financial abuse; and beefing up fraud and scam monitoring and communications by firms,” Ms Rowland said.

“We are also proposing a new framework to support people in vulnerable circumstances. Firms must take reasonable steps to support such customers and to implement training, reporting, and the recognition of Trusted Contact Persons.”

This proposal would see a requirement for firms to facilitate customers who wish to do so, to provide the name and contact information of someone, known as a trusted contact, who a firm may communicate with where there is difficulty supporting a customer, or where financial abuse, including fraud, is suspected.

This is the second stage of three steps involved in the modernisation of the code, including a discussion paper, the consultation and the finalisation.

It is expected that the process will be completed early next year.

Article Source – Central Bank launches consultation on new consumer code – RTE

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