The National Consumer Agency (NCA) is a statutory body established by the Irish Government in May 2007. It aims to defend consumer interests and to embed a robust consumer culture in Ireland.
In March 2010, the consumer financial services related information and education function previously under the responsibility of the Financial Regulator was transferred to the NCA, offering a one-stop shop service on consumer information and education issues in the Irish economy.
The NCA and the Central Bank of Ireland have signed a framework agreement which came into effect on 1 February 2011, on the performance of their respective functions in so far as they relate to issues of consumer protection and welfare. Download the Co-operation Agreement (MS Word, 28KB)
The Central Bank of Ireland remains responsible for information on central bank operations and financial sector regulation. For more information visit FinancialRegulator.ie and CentralBank.ie
A strong mandate
The Government has given the NCA a very strong mandate to defend and promote consumer rights through:
- Forceful advocacy, targeted research, consumer information, education, and awareness programmes
- The systematic enforcement of consumer law
The Agency was established by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment in response to the publication of a 2005 report by the Consumer Strategy Group entitled: Make Consumers Count. This identified important deficiencies in the protection and promotion of consumer rights in Ireland.
- Represents the voice of the consumer
- Enforces consumer legislation
- Defends consumer interests at the highest levels of national and local decision-making
As a consumer advocate and a defender of consumer rights, the NCA has an important role in working with businesses, to help them to support compliance with regulatory obligations and to encourage best practice as regards consumer rights.
Designated officers of the NCA work alongside business and representative organisations to promote awareness of consumer issues and to enforce consumer law.
What we do
Our work is divided into five main functions:
Competition Authority and consumers
In the October 2008 Budget, the Minister for Finance announced plans to amalgamate the NCA and the Competition Authority, the agency responsible for enforcing Irish and European competition law.
Competition law is primarily designed to protect and benefit consumers, who have a right to purchase goods and services at a competitive price. Greater competition provides good value for consumers, stimulates business and enhances the economy as a whole.
Anti-competitive behaviour by businesses, such as price fixing, results in consumers paying higher prices without any extra benefits, and undermines the Irish economy's competitiveness.
European Competition and Consumer Day
Competition Policy and Consumer Protection: Challenges and Choices - 24 May 2013, Dublin Castle
As part of Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2013 the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency are jointly hosting a one day conference in Dublin Castle on 24 May 2013. This timely programme will feature perspectives from leading authorities on issues central to the protection of consumers through competition enforcement and consumer protection. It will be opened by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, TD. Capacity at the venue is strictly limited and therefore this event is invitation only.
Registration and coffee (8.30am to 9.00am)
Session 1: Key Note Speeches: Critical Issues for Consumer Protection and Competition Policy (9.00am to 10.30am)
- Mr Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
- Mr Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy
- Mr Alexander Italianer, Director General Competition Policy, European Commission
Session 2: Interaction of Competition Policy and Consumer Protection - Panel Discussion (10.50am to 12.15pm)
Moderator: Alex Schuster B.L., Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
- Mr Philip Collins, Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, UK
- Mr Chris Fonteijn, Chairman of the Authority for Consumers and Markets, Netherlands
- Mrs Agnete Gersing, Director General of the Danish Competition and Consumer Agency, Denmark
- Ms Edith Raminez, Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, USA
Session 3: Collective Redress (13.05pm to 14.50pm)
Moderator: Ms Joanne Blennerhassett, Solicitor, University College Dublin, Ireland
- Professor Christopher Hodges, Head of the CMS Research Programme on Civil Justice Systems, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, UK
- Professor Rachel Mulheron, Professor of Law, Queen Mary University of London and Council Member of the Civil Justice Council of England, UK
- Mr Eddy de Smitjer, Private Enforcement Unit, DG Comp., European Commission
Session 4: Behavioural Economics: Consumers' Use of Information and Decision Making (15.10pm to 16.40pm)
Moderator: Professor Liam Delaney, University of Sterling, UK
- Dr Pete Lunn, Economic and Social Research Institute, Ireland
- Mr Bernard Sheridan, Central Bank of Ireland, Ireland
- Professor Maurice Stucke, University of Tennessee, College of Law, USA
Closing remarks (16.40pm to 16.50pm)
Read about the National Consumer Agency's background
Find out about the NCA's board
Visit the Competition Authority's website