Bruised by its drubbing during the tracker loan controversy the Central Bank is now talking about getting tough with bankers.

The regulator is putting forward its head of financial conduct Derville Rowland to present its latest proposals.

The criminal barrister-turned-regulator has a more direct approach about clamping down on errant bankers than her boss Governor Philip Lane, who comes from an academic background.

Ms Rowland’s proposals make sense. But it is obviously disappointing they were not in place prior to the financial crash.

Since the collapse, the prosecution of white collar crime has been exposed as weak and disorganised in Ireland.

The Law Reform Commission is examining how legislation can be improved.

As part of that review the Central Bank has proposed big changes. It recommends a new criminal offence of "egregious recklessness", which could be taken against those whose actions result in the collapse of a bank or insurance company.

This was originally proposed by the previous governor Patrick Honohan and mirrors similar laws in Britain.

The Central Bank also wants the period for which somebody can be suspended from a senior position to be extended from its current duration of six months.

It recommends that managers are held personally accountable for specific functions. That will make it more difficult for executives to claim they were not responsible certain decisions.

The Central Bank wants a new white collar crime unit established within one of the existing criminal agencies, such as the gardaí or the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE).

Following recent failures, the Government is re-thinking the role of the ODCE. The Central Bank wants to see a new unit with dedicated investigators, accountants and lawyers.

Unsurprisingly, the lobby group that represents bankers, Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, has not commented on the proposals.

But it would be uncharacteristic for any organisation representing bankers to support stiffer penalties for its members.

The final decision rests with politicians.

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath says it is "imperative" that the Government gives the Central Bank the powers it is seeking.

After the experience of tracker loan controversy, in which tens of thousands of families were overcharged, there is the political will to get tough on bankers.

The Government should not waste the opportunity that the tracker loan crisis has presented.

Comment via Twitter @davidmurphyRTE