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Government makes progress on project Back  
The Government is to establish an expert advisory group, including both industry and consumer representatives, to advise on its plan to consolidate and modernise legislation governing the regulation of the financial services industry in Ireland.

The proposals are part of the Government’s ‘Better Regulation’ agenda, and are in line with the commitment in the Government White Paper Regulating Better to conduct sectoral reviews of the bodies of regulation governing particular strategic policy areas. The proposals are also consistent with the future strategy document for the international financial services sector ‘Building on Success’ launched by the Taoiseach on September 14th, 2006.
The project plan provides that the legislation would be published within two years of the expert advisory group starting its work.

The concept of a simplification of the legislative regime was first mooted in the McDowell report, which recommended that once the new regulatory structure for financial services had been established, the legislation governing regulation of the financial services sector should be consolidated. In 2004, the Department of Finance launched a consultation paper on the process, and a regulatory impact analysis of the project has been carried out, and is published on the Department’s website at www.finance.gov.ie.

Announcing the proposals, the Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen T.D. said, ‘the quality of the overall legal framework that conforms to best international practice is central to the effectiveness of the regulatory regime for Ireland’s financial services sector. Maintaining and improving the competitiveness of the international financial services sector is a key objective of this Government as the sector contributes significantly to growth and employment in the economy’.

The announcement has been welcomed by the various industry representative bodies. The Irish Banking Federation’s chief executive, Pat Farrell, said, ‘As a member of the Government-appointed Business Regulation Forum, I am very pleased that the Government is now tackling the consolidation and modernisation of financial services legislation with the seriousness and urgency it deserves’.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland’s (ICAI) director of technical policy, Aidan Lambe, said, ‘this is a timely move as undoubtedly the law governing financial services has become more complex in recent years, particularly emanating from the EU’.

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