Under Section 25 of the HBFI Act, it is an offence to attempt to communicate, on behalf of another person (the “principal”), with HBFI, a HBFI group entity or a person providing services or advice to HBFI or a HBFI group entity with the intention of influencing the making of a decision in relation to the performance of the functions of HBFI or the HBFI group entity. This prohibition does not apply to a person acting in his or her capacity as:
- an adviser to the principal in relation to law, finance or the acquisition, disposal or development of land
- an employee of the principal
- a shareholder of the principal or person otherwise exercising control over the principal, where the principal is a corporate entity.
A staff member, board member of HBFI or other such person providing services or advice to HBFI is obliged to report any such attempt to a member of the Garda Síochána and failure to do so is itself an offence. A person who commits an offence under Section 25 of the HBFI Act shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to €1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.