Governance in its broadest sense, has been a focus of regulators ever since the 2008/09 financial crisis. Starting with formal corporate governance codes the regulator has consistently raised its expectations in many areas from minutes and terms of reference, to competence and effectiveness of boards, board members and executives to conduct and general risk management. An array of new powers have been given to the regulator which it has been diligent to use. New powers in the areas of senior executive accountability (SEAR) and enforcement have been requested by the regulator and a political commitment has been given to grant these.
The Financial Institutions team has a strong record of helping our clients navigate through these evolving rules and regulatory expectations. The enormously broad range of our client base, together with the strength and depth of our team allows us to see issues as they arise across all industry sectors. We regularly see the regulator applying an approach to an issue in one sector across other sectors as part of its policy of supervisory alignment. This visibility and actual experience allows us to provide focussed and above all practical advice to our clients who are facing increasingly complex issues.
Whether it is a detailed governance review, preparation for a PCF interview or thematic inspection or horizon scanning for new rules and regulations we address all “governance” issues for boards of directors, senior management, in-house counsel and compliance officers of all firms regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and those passporting into Ireland from across the EU.
We have especially strong experience in working with internationally focussed firms which have established in Ireland as an EU base, whether because of Brexit or otherwise and which can face particular governance challenges in operating across multiple jurisdictions.
- Leading regulatory change implementation projects for domestic and international financial institutions in areas of Irish and EU regulation including gap analysis, advising on strategic issues of legislative changes, developing suites of policies, procedures and client facing documents and providing training to senior management for clients in areas such as MiFID II, PSD2, Solvency II, MAR, Client Asset, Corporate Governance, fitness and probity regime.
- Internal Governance Reviews for financial institutions on various issues. For example we recently carried out a wholescale governance review for large insurer of the processes, procedures and decisions for sales, underwriting, and senior management in relation to business interruption claims.
- Assisting with thematic inspection preparation and implementing remediation plans for financial institutions on areas such as suitability requirements, best execution, market abuse, conduct risk, risk frameworks, anti-money laundering.
- Providing interview preparation for senior management, including board members as part of the fitness and probity regime and PRISM.
- Carrying out independent compliance and governance reviews and providing recommendations for improvement for financial institutions.