The Central Bank has today outlined its planned series of themed reviews and inspections for this year.
The bank said 2013 will see examinations of the code of conduct on mortgage arrears, sales incentives in the banking, insurance, investment and stockbroking sectors and the provision of information by investment and stockbroking firms to consumers.
It will also look at how property insurance claims are handled, while an examination of moneylenders will focus on the maximum cost of credit that such firms are allowed to charge.
The bank said that themed reviews and inspections are an important part of its supervisory framework allowing for review, assessment and mitigation of risks which have emerged in various industry sectors and across individual firms.
''The publication of planned themed inspections enables the relevant sectors to prepare and raise standards across the firms in each sector,'' it added.
The Central Bank also outlined its enforcement priorities for this year, which it said highlighted the importance of enforcement within its risk-based regulatory framework.
These areas include retail intermediaries, payment protection insurance, client asset requirements, anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing, systems and controls, timelines and accuracy of information submitted to the Central Bank, errors and overcharging, payment regulations and suitability requirements.
Last year, the bank enforced 16 settlements with financial institutions, resulting in fines worth a total of €8,492,900 being imposed.
Enforcement provides both a credible threat and acts as a deterrent to those companies that are non-complaint, especially in respect of low impact firms with whom the bank does not have a close regulatory relationship, commented the Head of Enforcement 1 Division, Derville Rowland.
She said the bank had worked closely with its supervisory divisions to prioritise the areas of greatest concern to them.