Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath TD has said the number of staff vacancies across key functions in the Central Bank raises serious questions about the capacity of the organisation to do its job effectively and to cope with any new financial services firms that may arrive in light of BREXIT.

Deputy McGrath was commenting after receiving the information on current Central Bank staff vacancies from Minister Michael Noonan in a parliamentary reply.

Deputy McGrath said, “The data, revealed in this reply, raises a number of important questions about the ability of the Central Bank to effectively regulate existing financial service providers in Ireland and to properly fulfil its consumer protection role.

“In addition, the numbers of vacancies in key functional areas across the Central Bank calls into question the capacity of our regulatory system to accommodate financial service firms that may relocate to Ireland from the UK as a result of BREXIT.

“After experiencing the failure of regulation in the past, it is shocking to see a 12% vacancy rate in the section directly responsible for regulating credit institutions.”

“Motorists paying sky high insurance premiums will be taken aback to learn there is a 9% vacancy rate in the area of insurance supervision. A 10% vacancy rate in the area of consumer protection means that consumers of financial service products in Ireland are not getting the protection they deserve and need.”

“There is clearly a major problem in the Central Bank around the issue of attracting and indeed retaining staff. The Government needs to face up this reality and come up with a plan to tackle this issue so that consumers can be properly protected and the opportunities from BREXIT can be fully exploited.”