The Individual Accountability Framework and SEAR reflect the central role that culture and conduct now have in the Irish financial services sector. The Framework presents significant implementation challenges for regulated firms and senior individuals working within them.

Our experienced team comprises specialists from across the firm, including from our Financial Regulatory Group, Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Investigations Group, Asset Management and Investment Funds Group, Insurance Group and Employment Group. We use our significant knowledge and experience of the regulatory and enforcement environment to provide strategic advice and support to our clients as they manage the transition to the new IAF and beyond.

The Individual Accountability Framework and SEAR: An Overview

Of Counsel Maedhbh Clancy and Partner Sarah Thompson discuss what the IAF will entail and give an overview of the key pillars of the framework.

Our clients include major Irish and international credit institutions, investment firms, asset/fund managers, fund administrators, insurance companies, payment institutions, other types of regulated financial institutions and senior executives working within the financial services industry.

We provide advice on all aspects of the IAF and the SEAR, including on the scope and practical implications of the Framework. The group offers practical help to clients as they implement the new regime, including advising on the preparation of management responsibility maps and statements of responsibility, guidance and training on the proposed new conduct standards for individuals and for firms, and navigation of the new fitness and probity certification process. We also provide advice to executives and other employees on the new “duty of responsibility” and on the new conduct standards.

The Individual Accountability Framework and SEAR: Enforcement

Of Counsel Amelia Walsh and Partner Deirdre O’Mahony discuss how the IAF will affect the Central Bank of Ireland’s Enforcement regime.

The Individual Accountability Framework and SEAR: Key Questions 

Senior Associate Sarah Lawn and Of Counsel Stephen D’Ardis explore the critical questions that our clients have been asking since the publication of the feedback statement, final regulations and guidance on 16 November.

IAF and SEAR: Latest updates with Louise O’Byrne and Stephen D’Ardis

Louise O’Byrne (Partner, Employment) and Stephen D’Ardis (Of Counsel, Insurance) discuss the issues they have seen with their clients over recently, as well as taking a look at what organisations can expect over the coming months in advance of the 1 July 2024 implementation date.

Finance: Monthly Horizon Scanner

Our Finance Group publishes a monthly horizon-scanner, covering topical Irish and EU legal and regulatory matters. You can view the archive here.

Relevant Experience

  • Provided advice to firms on technical aspects of the new Individual Accountability Framework and SEAR
  • Provided training sessions on SEAR for industry bodies
  • Significant experience in advising clients on major regulatory change projects, including implementation of the Central Bank’s “fitness and probity” regime
  • Significant experience in guiding senior management teams, boards of directors and senior individuals through their legal and regulatory obligations, for example in the context of internal and external investigations (including by regulatory bodies such as the Central Bank of Ireland under the Administrative Sanctions Procedures regime)
  • Conducted investigations into issues arising under the fitness and probity regime and supported firms and individuals during investigations by the Central Bank under the fitness and probity regime
  • Through Sarah Thompson, who is a partner in our Financial Regulatory Group, we have experience of advising clients in the UK on the implementation of the FCA’s Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) regime, on which SEAR draws heavily