The Central Bank of Ireland has published its 2021 annual report and annual performance statement, showing it made a financial profit of €1.32 billion, with surplus income of €1.07 billion paid to the Exchequer.
The Central Bank also announced it will appoint Sharon Donnery as Deputy Governor (Financial Regulation), Mark Cassidy as Acting Deputy Governor (Monetary and Financial Stability) and Robert Kelly as Acting Director Economics and Statistics.
The Central Bank said it issued 173 million banknotes valued at €5.555 billion in 2021, representing a 9% decrease on the 190 million banknotes valued at €6.418 billion issued in 2020.
“This decrease is driven by a reduced demand for cash during the first half of 2021 due to increased adoption of cashless payments and the impact of COVID-19 restrictions,” said the bank.
Updating on Ireland’s securities and markets sector, the Central Bank said: “Ireland remains a leading choice for entities to locate, evidenced by strong growth in activities within the securities and markets sector.
“The funds authorisation area experienced strong growth in 2021 as the number of investment funds authorised in Ireland increased to 8,371, representing €4.067tn in assets as at 31 December 2021.”
On enforcement, the Central Bank said: “During 2021, the Central Bank delivered significant and varied enforcement outcomes, including notable fines.
“These outcomes reflect the targeted and proportionate application of enforcement tools to address serious breaches of regulatory requirements and misconduct by firms or individuals.
“The total of more than €67m in fines in 2021 is the highest amount imposed in a single year to date.”
Governor Gabriel Makhlouf said: “In dealing with uncertainty, organisations such as the Central Bank must be forward-looking and agile in our strategic approach, to ensure we are capable of moving at speed when new problems arise, working in conjunction with our international counterparts.
“This is essential if we are to deliver on our mission of serving the public interest by maintaining monetary and financial stability while ensuring that the financial system operates in the best interests of consumers and the wider economy.
“Our new strategy, covering the period 2022-2026, is designed with that in mind.”