December 2015 saw the Central Bank make four settlement agreements under its Administrative Sanctions Procedure (ASP).
- Octagon Online Services Limited was fined €105,000 for trading in financial instruments on its own account, in breach of its MiFID authorisation (Octagon’s authorisation was limited to the reception and transmission of orders). The Central Bank said that the primary cause of Octagon’s breach was its loss of institutional memory. In making the settlement, the Central Bank took into account that this was a particularly serious breach and it was the second time Octagon had engaged in unauthorised business.
- Lambay Capital Limited t/a MKW Futures was fined €49,000 for failing to implement adequate accounting procedures and internal control mechanisms, in breach of its obligations under the MiFID Regulations. The Central Bank took into account that Lambay had engaged in prior conduct of a similar type and the breach was only resolved after the commencement of enforcement action.
- H&P Car Sales Limited was fined €1,540 for failure to hold professional indemnity insurance, which is a requirement for insurance intermediaries.
- Computershare Investor Services (Ireland) Limited was fined €322,500 for breach of Client Asset Requirements (CAR) imposed under the MiFID Regulations. The breaches related to the principle of certainty of ownership of client assets as set out in the CAR and access to client assets in the event of insolvency.
The above settlements brought the total number of settlements entered into by the Central Bank in 2015 to nine, down from eleven in 2014. The maximum fine imposed in 2015 was €5 million, on Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS).
2015 also saw the Central Bank initiate its first ever inquires under the ASP. The first inquiry was commenced in July 2015, against INBS and persons concerned in its management. In November, another inquiry was initiated against persons concerned in the management of Quinn Insurance Limited.