Accountability and sustainability are driving the financial regulatory agenda

Dublin, 17 May 2019 – Holding individual directors to account is the key to improving governance in financial firms according to Gerry Cross, Director of Financial Regulation at the Central Bank of Ireland. Speaking at ICSA Ireland’s annual conference in Dublin yesterday, Mr Cross emphasised that accountability and sustainability are the key themes being reflected in new guidelines proposed by the Central Bank.

Mr Cross outlined how the new guidelines on individual accountability will improve governance through increased clarity of individual responsibilities, better documented governance arrangements, improved challenge and oversight by boards and more effective supervisory management. He also stressed that sustainability is an increasing focus, both in terms of the sustainability of financial firms and environmental sustainability.

Simon Osborne, Chief Executive of ICSA said: “Integrity is an essential ingredient in terms of ensuring the long-term success of any business. If directors lack integrity or put their own interests above the interests of the company or the customers that the business serves, then failure is pretty much guaranteed. Integrity and honesty are therefore of tantamount importance in helping to safeguard the future of Ireland’s financial services industry. Enforceable conduct standards will help to drive up standards and ensure that individuals are clear about the behaviour expected of them. Similarly, purpose and culture play an important role, setting the context for good governance, as demonstrated by another speaker Siobhán Talbot, Group Managing Director & Executive Director of Glanbia plc.”

Salvador Nash, President of ICSA Ireland said: “This year’s conference has been of great use in flagging up to governance practitioners some of the areas of focus that organisations in Ireland need to get to grips with. Ethical leadership, sustainable governance, environmental, social and governance factors, as well as regulation, artificial Intelligence and automation are all set to change the face of industry and that will provide a variety of challenges for those involved in governance. Fortunately, the move to ‘Governance beyond Compliance’, the theme of this year’s conference, means that our members are well-placed to add value and contribute to the effectiveness of business.”

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For further information, please contact

Salvador Nash, President of ICSA Ireland 
+353 (0)1 410 1226

John Burns, Regional Development Manager, ICSA Ireland  
+353 (0)86 8888949


Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager  
+44 (0)20 7612 7072
+44 (0)7890 649 143

Notes to Editors:

  1. ICSA: The Governance Institute is the professional body for governance. We have members in all sectors and are required by our Royal Charter to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’. With over 125 years’ experience, we work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and provide qualifications, training and guidance. Website: 
  2. ICSA Ireland is the representative body of ICSA: The Governance Institute in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish region is governed by its own Council and sub-committees representing all areas of business in which the members work. ICSA Ireland has approximately 600 members and 200 students with many of its members working in the corporate and professional services sectors.
    Through its Council and sub-committees it provides a range of services to members and students, including the organisation of educational and social events. Council also makes representations and submissions to Government Departments and Governance Forums on behalf of the ICSA members. Website: 
  3. The full transcript of Gerry Cross’ speech can be found at 
  4. The full conference programme can be found at 

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