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Coronavirus leads Irish regulator to encourage electronic signatures

Chris Hamblin, Editor, London, 29 August 2020

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The Central Bank of Ireland has published a statement in which it 'clarifies' the use of electronic signatures in regulatory documents and forms.

Because more and more financiers and compliance officers are working remotely because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Central Bank has received queries from regulated firms about the admissibility of electronic signatures as opposed to ‘wet ink’ signatures (i.e. signing a document by hand using a pen) on regulatory documents and forms that firms submit to it.

In the absence of any specific legal provisions to the contrary, the bank's policy is that regulated firms may use electronic signatures when they fill in regulatory documents and forms. It is keen to point out that anyone who signs a regulatory document in this way is as accountable for the content as he would be if he had signed it in ink.

The Central Bank reserves the right to request a ‘wet ink’ signature when it sees fit. It also warns compliance officers that it might 'review' this policy in future.

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