Tue, Mar 30, 2021

Ireland Regulatory Calendar 2021

Topic Update Date

Individual Accountability Framework

On June 18, 2019, the Irish Government agreed to draft the Central Bank (Amendment) Bill to introduce an individual accountability framework in the Irish financial sector. As part of the framework, a Senior Executive Accountability Regime will be introduced. It was expected a public consultation would take place in 2020, but this has been delayed. It is now expected that the Central Bank of Ireland will consult publicly on its provisions and confirm a timeframe for implementation in 2021.


Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2020

The Bill was published on September 8, 2020 and will transpose many of the provisions of the 5th EU Money Laundering Directive into Irish law. The Bill aims to strengthen EU laws combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. The Bill is currently at the third stage in Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) and is expected to become law in 2021.


CP130 – Treatment, Correction and Redress of Errors in Investment Funds 

The Central Bank issued Consultation Paper 130 (CP130) on the treatment, correction and redress of errors in investment funds on September 9, 2019. It sets out new rules and guidance for dealing with errors in investment funds, including NAV errors, investment breach errors, fee errors and control breach errors. The Central Bank considers that a fund management company is ultimately responsible for ensuring that an error is appropriately rectified, and the depositary has a role in ensuring that this is the case. The Central bank is looking to ensure that the best interests of investors are safeguarded. As a result, the majority of service providers to funds falling within the scope will be indirectly subject to the new guidance once it is finalized.

Once finalized, CP130 will potentially increase the responsibility and liability for boards falling within its scope. It will apply to fund management companies acting for UCITS or AIFs, and Irish fund management companies.

The consultation closed on December 9, 2019. A second consultation was expected to be released in 2020, but this is now expected in 2021.


The Consumer Protection Code (CPC)

A comprehensive review of the CPC by the Central Bank of Ireland commenced in 2020. It is expected a public consultation will take place following the review with no date set at the current time.

The CPC is a set of rules and principles that all regulated financial services firms must follow when providing financial products and services to consumers.


Packaged Retail Investment and Insurance Products (PRIIPs)

In October 2019, the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published a consultation on proposed amendments to the PRIIPs Key Information Document (KID). The proposed amendments relate to performance scenarios, investment costs and multi-option products. Some proposed amendments also allow the requirements to be applied to UCITS that are expected to have to prepare a Key Investor Information Document from January 1, 2022, onwards.

The consultation closed on January 13, 2020. Revised Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) are expected to be published in early 2021.


Derivatives and Market Infrastructure

The Securities Financial Transactions (SFT) Regulation establishes that both parties to an SFT need to report new, modified or terminated SFTs to a registered or recognized trade repository (TR), including the composition of the collateral. ESMA published its final report on the Guidelines on Reporting under SFTR in Q4, 2019.

The implementation of SFTR is staggered and reporting for investment firms, and credit institutions went live on July 13, 2020, insurance/reinsurance undertakings, UCITs, AIF/AIFMs and institutions for occupational retirement schemes had to report from October 10, 2020 and (EU) non-financial counterparties will have to report from January 11, 2021. 

Became effective January 11, 2021

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Disclosure Rules

Published in May 2018, the EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance includes three core legislative proposals and proposed amendments to the UCITS, AIFMD and MiFID frameworks, to ensure the integration of sustainability risks and other sustainability factors into existing rules.

The purpose of the Disclosure Regulation is to achieve more transparency on how financial market participants and advisers consider sustainability risks in their investment decisions and insurance or investment advice. The disclosure obligations under the Disclosure Regulation apply to all financial market participants, including AIFMs, UCITS management companies, investment firms, insurance and credit institutions providing portfolio management, and financial advisers providing investment and/or insurance advice.

The SFDR applies to a range of firms, including MiFID investment firms providing portfolio management services, AIFMs, and UCITS management companies. The SFDR sets out requirements in relation to the financial products offered by such firms, such as portfolios managed by MiFID managers, AIFs managed by AIFMs, and UCITS funds. There are disclosure obligations that apply at both the product and entity level—product level disclosures include those made to investors, whilst entity level disclosures include public disclosures made on firms’ websites. The disclosures can be broken down into the disclosure of prescribed information on an entity’s website, in the pre-contractual information for a financial product, and the periodic information provided to investors. Firms should start assessing the impact of the SFDR, consider their approach to the “comply or explain” provisions and document their approach to ESG integration within the firm.

Effective March 10, 2021

AIFMD Review

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the review of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The consultation examines how to strengthen the rules and asks for feedback on a number of topics. These include the AIFM passport, investor protection, the AIFM license, financial stability, delegation, sustainability and alignment with the UCITS regime.

Consultation closed January 29, 2021

Investment Limited Partnerships (Amendment) Bill 2020

The Investment Limited Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2020 modernizes the Investment Limited Partnership Act 1994 and aligns it with more recent domestic and EU legislation. The Bill is intended to update the law governing Irish PE funds. ILPs are likely to become the preferred investment vehicle for the likes of real estate, energy, infrastructure, PE and private debt once the new legislation takes effect. It also makes technical amendments to the ICAV Act 2015 (“ICAV Act”) with the aim of enhancing the efficiency of the ICAV structure and aligning the ICAV Act with certain provisions of the Companies Act 2014 (these include provisions relating to powers of attorney and intra-group loans and other transactions). The ILP Bill also extends the beneficial ownership requirements applicable to corporate and unit trust fund structures to ILPs and common contractual funds. The Bill was approved by the Irish Parliament on December 16, 2020 and was signed into law by the President on December 23, 2020.

Effective on December 23, 2020

6th AML Directive on Combatting Money Laundering by Criminal Law

The directive came into effect November 12, 2018, and member states had until December 3, 2020, to transpose the laws and regulation into national law. Ireland has not yet published a bill to transpose the Directive into Irish law, but this is expected in 2021.


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