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New PCF Roles - Do these Apply to your Business?

20 October 2020

The Central Bank recently designated new PCF roles by way of regulations dated 5 October. Firms have until 16 November to notify the Central Bank of people in their firms that occupy these new PCF roles. Firms should ensure that they have preformed internal PCF assessments and are in a position to submit the required confirmations to the Central Bank.  We explore the impact of these new regulations.

The Central Bank Reform Act 2010 (Sections 20 and 22) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 410 of 2020) (the Regulations) introduce the following new categories of Pre-Approval Controlled Functions (PCFs) for regulated financial services providers (RFSPs):

  • Chief Information Officer PCF-49 - under the 'General' category

  • Head of Material Business Line PCF-50 - under the 'Banking' category

  • Head of Market Risk PCF-51 - under the 'Banking' category

The Regulations also split the previous Designated Person role (PCF-39) into six separate PCF roles. This PCF role is being split into six roles to correspond to the specific managerial functions set out in the Central Bank’s UCITS Regulations, AIF Rulebook and the Fund Management Companies Guidance, as follows:

  1. PCF-39A: Designated Person with responsibility for Capital and Financial Management ;

  2. PCF-39B: Designated person with responsibility for Operational Risk Management

  3. PCF-39C: Designated person with responsibility for Fund Risk Management

  4. PCF-39D: Designated person with responsibility for Investment Management

  5. PCF-39E: Designated person with responsibility for Distribution

  6. PCF-39F: Designated person with responsibility for Regulatory Compliance

The Central Bank has said that the new PCF roles are being introduced to align with:

  1. the increasing importance of, and reliance on, information technology within RFSPs, and

  2. the changing landscape of the banking sector in Ireland due to Brexit, including the entry/expansion of investment banks/broker-dealer firms with significant capital markets activity.

The Central Bank has published a Frequently Asked Questions document on the new PCF roles.

Key Takeaway for RFSPs

Individuals in new PCF roles 49, 50 and 51 that are in place when the Regulations came into effect on 5 October, will not be required to seek the approval of the Central Bank to continue to perform these PCF roles.

RFSPs will however, be required to carry out an assessment under Section 21 of the Central Bank Reform Act 2010 in respect of individuals in place in these roles and submit confirmation to the Central Bank that this assessment has been carried out by 16 November 2020. This means that the RFSP must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the relevant individuals comply with the Fitness and Probity Standards and that the relevant individuals have agreed to abide by these standards.

RFSPs will not be required to review their assessment of persons already in place for PCF-39 (A-F) roles or submit confirmation of such an assessment to the CBI. RFSPs must however submit a list of the individuals performing each of the PCF-39A, PCF-39B, PCF-39C, PCF-39D, PCF-39E and PCF-39F roles by 16 November 2020.

If there is a change in one of the new PCF role holders after the introduction of the Regulations, an RFSP must seek Central Bank’s prior approval in writing to that appointment in the normal way, by submitting an Individual Questionnaire to the Central Bank.

The Central Bank does not require a PCF to be created in an RFSP where one did not previously exist or where the size or complexity of an RFSP’s business does not warrant it. However, the onus is on the RFSP to review its functions to determine whether they meet the substance of a PCF role.

If you have any queries on how the Regulations may impact your organisation or as to whether any functions may fall within scope, please contact a member of our Financial Regulation team.


The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

Discuss your queries with Máire Duffy now.


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