Central Bank should be given Statutory Responsibility for Promoting Competition across Financial Services Market – Byrne 

Published on: 20 April 2021

 Senator Malcolm Byrne has called for the Central Bank to have a statutory role pursuing competition in the Irish financial services market. He raised the issue in the Seanad where he also insisted that if a Forum on the Future of Banking is established, that consumer interests must be represented at the table.   

Senator Byrne commented, “We need to give the Central Bank specific statutory responsibility for promoting competition across the financial services market. The Central Bank does not at present have that power to try to ensure we have competition.  

“Having seen the departure of KBC Bank from significant parts of the Irish market and following the planned closure of quite a number of retail bank branches, it is very clear we are lacking competition in the Irish market.”  

The Senator highlighted that banking is changing so quickly because of technology and we need to look at how we might adopt a digital euro as well as how we interact with cryptocurrencies. He pointed out how China is developing expertise in this area far quicker than Europe.   

Senator Byrne said, “Banking and Finance is changing so quickly and much is driven by consumer behaviour. We should have teenagers and twenty-somethings inputting into any Forum on Banking. They are far more in touch with where financial technologies are going than the pillar banks.”  

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