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 Header Item Business of Dáil (Continued)
 Header Item Message from Select Committee
 Header Item Credit Union Bill 2012: From the Seanad

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 3

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  3 o’clock

Message from Select Committee

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt The Select Sub-Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport has completed its consideration of the Transport (Córas Iompair Éireann and Subsidiary Companies Borrowings) Bill 2012 and has made no amendment thereto.

Credit Union Bill 2012: From the Seanad

   The Dáil went into committee to consider amendments from the Seanad.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Seanad amendment No. 1 is grouped with Seanad amendments Nos. 163 to 165, inclusive, and with Seanad amendments Nos. 175 to 179, inclusive.

Seanad amendment No. 1:

Section 1: In page 5, subsection (1), line 28, after “Union” to insert “and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators”.

Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes This grouping deals with a change to the Short Title of the Bill and with the inclusion of an area that we now intend to implement.

A number of amendments were made to section 1 on Committee Stage in the Seanad. These amendments and the related Schedules are designed to provide for measures which will allow the Central Bank of Ireland greater capacity to co-operate with its counterparts in other countries. Specifically, these amendments, where enacted, permit the Central Bank to sign the International Organization of Securities Commissions', IOSCO's, multilateral memorandum of understanding, MMOU, by the end of this year. In light of the pressing end of year timeline for signing the MMOU, it has been necessary to make these amendments as part of the Bill.

The purpose of the MMOU is to allow the Central Bank to co-operate and share information with other regulators, including other securities commissions around the world, in accordance with international best practice. The provisions being inserted into this Bill are currently part of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011. Colleagues will be aware that Bill is slowly wending its way through the Houses of the Oireachtas. To cut to the chase, we are including the area contained in that Bill in this Bill because of the timeline by which we must sign the MMOU- by the end of the year. If we had to wait until the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill, which is due for Committee Stage in January 2013, we would miss the end of year deadline for signing the MMOU.

The IOSCO organisation is an international group of regulators, of which the Central Bank is a member on behalf of this country. One of its key functions is to control and provide information to different members on international fraud. The Central Bank of Ireland, as regulator and a member of IOSCO, requested the Government to allow it sign the memorandum and this is the reason we are bringing in section 4. Lest colleagues are concerned this might be some kind of movement two minutes from midnight, that is not the case. The case is we were asked to do this and are bringing it forward from the Bill that is currently only approaching Committee Stage.

These amendments were made in the Seanad and the changes envisaged include enacting section 53 of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill so that the Central Bank may use its powers on behalf of overseas regulators; enhancing and consolidating authorised officer provisions; and provisions for guarding the Central Bank confidentiality regime. Given that these amendments are not related to credit unions, it was also necessary to amend the Short and Long Titles of the Bill to accommodate them. I would like to emphasise that the expeditious passage of the Credit Union Bill through the House is necessary to allow the €250 million to be contributed to the credit union fund by the end of this year, as there is no scope in the 2013 figures for this to be done after the end of this year. This money is essential for the restructuring process to get under way.

These amendments deal with a number of new sections we wish to include to deal with allowing Ireland to extend its membership of IOSCO. I believe the Central Bank would highlight some of the important benefits of membership if it had an opportunity to do so. In the circumstance where there is international fraud or an allegation of fraud through securities, for example, it should be open to member states of the organisation to pass information freely to other member states. Having this memorandum in place will have benefits for Ireland, as a signatory to the agreement, in terms of governance and international regulation. I commend this group of amendments to the House.

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