The Central Bank has proposed new reforms to financial services regulations and said its supervisory and enforcement toolkit should be enhanced.

The proposals include a new Senior Executive Accountability Regime (SEAR) to ensure clearer accountability in the financial services industry.

Everyone working in the financial services industry, including key legal and accountancy advisors, must play their part in transforming the culture of the financial services sector, the Central Bank also said.

Derville Rowland, the Central Bank's Director General Financial Conduct, said the bank had proposed that senior managers would submit a statement of responsibilities that makes clear what they are responsible and accountable for.

"This would help assign responsibility to individuals in a regulatory context and decrease their ability to claim that the culpability for wrongdoing lay outside their sphere of responsibility," Ms Rowland said.

The Central Bank has also recommended that the "hurdle of participation" be removed so that it could pursue individuals directly, rather than only where they are proven to have participated in a firm's wrongdoing. 

"At present, we can only impose sanctions on individuals where they have participated in a firm's breach. In our view, this is unduly restrictive and it is not compatible with delivering the necessary reforms and enhanced accountability," Ms Rowland said.

She made her comments at the Matheson Conference on Culture and Governance in Financial Services in UCD today.

"The Central Bank considers these proposed reforms to be necessary enhancements to its supervisory and enforcement toolkit which supports an effective and ethical culture in regulated firms," Ms Rowland continued.

She also said she would like the tone for a positive culture being set from the top at financial firms, and then cascade throughout the entire organisation - and echo from the bottom up. 

"We believe that these proposals to strengthen individual accountability are an important step in that direction," she added.