Central Bank Act 1942
F463[Power to summon witnesses and take evidence.
33BA.—(1) At an inquiry, the F464[Bank] may, in writing—
(a) summons a person to appear before the inquiry to give evidence, to produce specified documents, or to do both, and
(b) require the person to attend from day to day unless excused, or released from further attendance, by F465[the Bank].
(2) The person presiding at an inquiry may require evidence to be given on oath, and may for that purpose—
(a) require a witness at the inquiry to take an oath, and
(b) administer an oath to the witness.
(3) The oath to be taken by a person for the purposes of this section is an oath that the evidence the person will give will be true.
(4) The person presiding at an inquiry—
(a) may require a witness at the inquiry to answer a question put to the witness, and
(b) may require a person appearing at the inquiry in accordance with a summons issued under this section to produce a document specified in the summons.
(5) The person presiding at an inquiry may allow a witness at the inquiry to give evidence by tendering a written statement, which, if the person presiding so requires, must be verified by oath.]
F466[(6) Without limiting subsections (1) to (4), the Bank has the same powers that a judge of the High Court has when hearing civil proceedings that are before that Court with respect to the examination of witnesses (including witnesses who are outside the State).
(7) A person who is summoned to appear before the Bank under this section is entitled to the same rights and privileges as a witness appearing in civil proceedings before the High Court.
(8) An answer to a question put to a person in response to a requirement under subsection (4)(a) or information provided by a person in response to a requirement under subsection (4)(b) is not admissible as evidence against the person in criminal proceedings, other than proceedings for perjury, if the information was provided on oath.
(9) A person who—
(a) obstructs the Bank in the exercise of a power conferred by this Part,
(b) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a requirement or request made by the Bank under this Part,
(c) in purported compliance with such a requirement or request, gives information that the person knows to be false or misleading, or
(d) refuses to comply with a summons to attend before, or to be examined on oath by, the Bank,
commits an offence and is liable—
(i) on summary conviction, to a class A fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both, or
(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €250,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or both.]
F467[(10) The Bank may apply to the High Court for an order referred to in subsection (11) in respect of any person who, at an inquiry—
(a) behaves in a manner referred to in paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (9),
(b) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply or refuses to comply with a requirement or request made by the person presiding at the inquiry,
(c) threatens or insults any person presiding at the inquiry or any witness or other person summoned or authorised to attend before the inquiry,
(d) interrupts the proceedings of the inquiry,
(e) discloses, or authorises the disclosure of, evidence given before the inquiry or any of the contents of a document produced at a hearing that the person presiding at an inquiry has directed not to be published,
(f) discloses, or authorises the disclosure of, evidence given before the inquiry at a hearing held in private or any of the contents of a document produced at a hearing held in private (except to a member of staff of that inquiry or as permitted by that inquiry), or
(g) does any other thing that, if the inquiry were a court of law having power to commit for contempt, would be contempt of that court.]
F467[(11) Where the Bank makes an application under subsection (10), the High Court may, if satisfied that there was no reasonable excuse for the act or omission concerned, make an order requiring the person concerned—
(a) to comply with any request or requirement under this Act, and
(b) not to repeat the conduct the subject of the application,
and if the person fails to comply with such order, may deal with the matter as if it were a contempt of that Court.]
Inserted (1.08.2004) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2004 (21/2004), s. 10, S.I. No. 455 of 2004, subject to transitional provisions in s. 35 and sch. 5.
Substituted (1.10.2010) by Central Bank Reform Act 2010 (23/2010), s. 14(2)(a), S.I. No. 469 of 2010.
Substituted (1.10.2010) by Central Bank Reform Act 2010 (23/2010), s. 14(2)(b), S.I. No. 469 of 2010.
Inserted (1.08.2013) by Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (26/2013), s. 70, S.I. No. 287 of 2013. A class A fine means a fine not greater than €5,000, as provided (4.01.2011) by Fines Act 2010 (8/2010), ss. 3, 4(1), S.I. No. 662 of 2010.
Inserted (19.04.2023) by Central Bank (Individual Accountability Framework) Act 2023 (5/2023), s. 61, S.I. No. 176 of 2023.
Modifications (not altering text):
Reference to perjury in subs. (8) construed (28.07.2021) by Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Act 2021 (13/2021), s. 4(2) and sch. 2 item 26, S.I. No. 378 of 2021.
References to perjury or subornation of perjury
(2) A reference in an enactment specified in Schedule 2 to perjury or to subornation of perjury, howsoever described, in relation to an act committed on or after the coming into operation of this subsection, shall be construed as a reference to perjury or to subornation of perjury, as the case may be, within the meaning of this Act.
Section 4 (2)
26. Central Bank Act 1942, section 33BA(8)
Previous affecting provision: section inserted (1.08.2004) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland 2004 (21/2004), s. 10, S.I. No. 455 of 2004, subject to transitional provisions in s. 35 and sch. 5; substituted as per F-note above.