A new survey shows that 65% of company directors and business leaders support the Government's Individual Accountability Legislation.

56% are personally in favour of the concept of directors' individual accountability, the latest quarterly Director Sentiment Monitor survey by the Institute of Directors in Ireland shows.

Support from directors and business leaders from the financial services sector alone is even higher, at 67% and 69%, respectively.

The Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2019 includes provisions relating to the Senior Executive Accountability Regime (SEAR) and Conduct Standards on all Regulated Financial Service Providers (RFSPs).

The bill is currently at the third (committee) stage in the legislative process in the Oireachtas.

Maura Quinn, chief executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, said that the vast majority of company directors are both cognisant of their fiduciary duties and act responsibly.

"Indeed, the importance of the role has never been so affirmed as it has been during the Covid-19 pandemic," Maura Quinn said.

"Boards are working with CEOs and senior management in trying to navigate successfully through the immense challenges many companies have faced," she said.

"Most directors take their responsibilities very seriously and the fact that a clear majority of those surveyed supports the Government's Bill on accountability is indicative of that," she added.

Today's survey also revealed that 87% of business leaders view Directors & Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance "an essential" that all directors should have.

But 63% said they do not have their own personal D&O Insurance in addition to that provided by the organisations on whose boards they serve.

61% of those who are currently covered by D&O Insurance said the cost has increased over the past year.