The Government is to hire consultants to review economic regulators including the financial watchdog (Irish Examiner). I presume financial watchdog here means the Financial Regulator. The consultants should start by asking the so called regulators to actually regulate.
We know, for example, that the Financial Regulator has yet to impose even a small fine on any financial institution or official. This is despite the fact that theft and fraud is rampant throughout the sector.
We also know that the Financial Regulator’s claim of always acting in the interests of consumers is questionable to say the least. Secrecy laws, strictly enforced by the regulator, have the effect of protecting the thieves and exposing consumers to serious risk of financial loss.
A recent operation by the regulator proves the point. Apparently, ‘undercover financial watchdogs visited a number of financial institutions and were overcharged by up to €15,000 on transactions.
Instead of cracking down on these institutions with heavy fines the regulator merely asked them to pay back the money ‘overcharged’.
This strategy is in keeping with the regulator’s unofficial but widely used ‘pay back’ policy. When banks or other financial institutions are caught robbing or ‘overcharging’ consumers they are merely asked to pay back the sums involved with appropriate interest – no fines, no police, no regulation.
Dept. of Finance