Debt management firms to be regulated and extra powers given to Financial Services Ombudsman

Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath has welcomed confirmation from Minister for Finance Michael Noonan that the government intends to implement two financial measures proposed by Fianna Fáil.

Minister Noonan has written to Deputy McGrath advising him that the government intends to bring forward amendments to the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011 to make provision for the regulation of debt management firms and to give powers to the Financial Services Ombudsman to publish the complaints record of financial institutions.

Deputy McGrath, “Last March, the Dáil approved the second stage of a Fianna Fáil bill to give powers to the Financial Services Ombudsman to publish the complaints record of individual financial institutions. The Ombudsman has repeatedly called for these powers and a straightforward legislative amendment would enable him to do so.

“Last May, the Dáil approved the second stage of a Fianna Fáil to regulate firms providing debt management and household budgeting services. It is now 14 months since the collapse of Home Payments Ltd and the sector has still not been fully brought under the regulatory regime.

”As I said when introducing both bills to the House, my concern is not whether the government accepts the Fianna Fáil legislation but that government would act on the issues raised.

“I am pleased that by using the private members’ time in a constructive way, we have helped to secure progress on these two key issues. The Minister has informed me that the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel is currently engaged in drafting of all committee stage amendments to the Bill and it is intended that committee stage would be taken during this Dáil session.”