The Times on 1st November quoted Ireland’s Finance Minister as saying that the new rules to hold individual bankers who do wrong to account will not result in jail but will still help to change culture. He is said to be working on legislation to bring in a senior accountability regime (SEAR) for prominent figures in financial services companies, as a response to the tracker mortgage scandal, where banks overcharged thousands of their own customers. On 7th October, Irish law firm A & L Goodbody produced a briefing on the proposed SEAR regime, saying that, together with other measures SEAR is part of the Central Bank of Ireland’s wider framework to boost transparency and accountability in the financial sector by making it easier to identify individuals responsible for certain functions, decisions and failings. The firms likely to be targeted include banks, investment firms and certain insurance companies and individuals in those businesses.
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