The Government has accepted without a vote a Fianna Fáil Private Members Bill on providing extra powers for the Financial Services Ombudsman.
Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath put forward the motion yesterday which, among other things, seeks the naming and shaming of financial institutions against which serious complaints are made.
In response, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said much work has taken place in developing proposals for legislation on this issue and he may incorporate some of Fianna Fáil’s proposals into legislation in the near future.
There was general agreement on the motion during the Dáil debate too, with Fianna Fáil Deputy Éamon Ó Cúiv saying the law would inform the public as to what institutions were trustworthy.
Independent TD Thomas Pringle said there was a transparency problem in the banks that underlined a wider cultural problem.
He called on the minister not to “long-finger” the legislation and to pass it as soon as possible.
Fine Gael's Liam Twomey sounded a note of caution and said it was important not to over-react by going from a situation of light regulation to one of over-regulation.
He said it was probably no more than about 100 people who brought Ireland to the crisis it is now in.
While Labour Deputy Michael McNamara said reform was badly needed and to make his point said there were only five TDs in the chamber at that moment in time.
Minister of State John Perry welcomed the cross-party agreement in the Lower House and said the economic crisis had highlighted the importance of financial regulation and central banking.
He said Fianna Fáil’s bill was consistent with Government policy and while more work is required to develop proposals in the area Minister Noonan intended to bring them to Government shortly.