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International Financial Services Strategy

Published: 17 January 2020
From: Department of Finance

International Financial Services Strategy 2025 – Ireland for Finance

In April 2019 the Government of Ireland launched Ireland for Finance, its whole-of-Government strategy for the further development of the international financial services sector in Ireland to 2025.

The vision of the Strategy is for Ireland to be a top-tier location of choice for specialist international financial services.

The Strategy was launched by the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, and Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D’Arcy TD.

The employment target for the Strategy is to reach 50,000 people in direct employment in the sector by 2025. This compares with 44,000 people directly employed in the sector at the end of 2018.

The Strategy is structured around the following four pillars:

1. The operating environment pillar focuses on ensuring the policy, culture and legislative conditions underpinning international financial services will support growth.

2. The technology and innovation pillar focuses on providing a collaborative approach to addressing emerging challenges and opportunities in technological developments.

3. The talent pillar which seeks to ensure that we continue to have skilled people to meet the demands of the international financial services sector, including meeting new and changing skills.

4. The communications and promotion pillar focuses on ensuring that Ireland’s international financial offering is communicated to all those who are or may be attracted to investing in Ireland.

Three horizontal priorities apply across the four pillars: regionalisation, sustainable finance, and diversity.

The full text of the strategy and Action Plan 2019 is here:

Ireland For Finance


Latest News – European Financial Forum

European Financial Forum: 11–12 February 2020

The European Financial Forum showcases Ireland's international financial services environment to an international audience, and highlights the Irish Government's commitment to the development of the international financial services sector.

The Forum offers an unparalleled opportunity for investors and key-decision makers from financial markets around the world to get an overview of the financial, business, fintech and regulatory landscape in Europe.

The fifth European Financial Forum will take place in Dublin Castle on Wednesday, 12 February 2020 and will feature speakers from a very strong mix of international organisations such as the Asian Development Bank, European Central Bank, European Banking Authority, and the European Securities and Markets Authority sending senior speakers.

In addition, the 2020 Forum will feature senior executives from global companies and public sector leaders including:

  • Mary Daly, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • David Livingstone, Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Citi
  • Norihiro Takahashi, President, Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan
  • Alessandra Perrazzelli, Deputy Governor, Bank of Italy
  • Nick Stansbury, Head of Commodity Research, Legal & General Investment Management
  • Gina Miller, Co-Founder, SCM Direct
  • George Muzinich, Founder & Chair, Muzinich & Co.
  • Gabriel Makhlouf, Governor, Central Bank of Ireland.

More information can be found at our conference organiser’s link: https://live.ft.com/Events/2020/European-Financial-Forum-2020

Why Ireland?

Ireland has built a very successful international financial services industry over the last three decades. From its origins in Dublin’s Docklands in 1987, the sector has now grown to become a national industry with a presence across the country.

Some of the factors that make Ireland an attractive and competitive location for international financial services, are its membership of the European Union, it highly skilled, English-speaking workforce, and the fact that is a common law jurisdiction.

Ireland’s international financial services sectors is broad, and includes over 400 firms in

  • banking
  • insurance and reinsurance
  • investment management
  • ratings agencies
  • fund and debt listing
  • trading platforms
  • aviation financing
  • corporate treasury operations
  • investment banking
  • payments

Ireland has a strong and effective regulator, which is essential to ensure financial stability and investor and consumer protection. The Central Bank of Ireland provides high quality, effective regulation and supervision. It is committed to providing timely and transparent processes in authorisation, supervision, and policy development.

As the international financial services sector adapts to the rapid changes that new technologies create, a significant strength of Ireland is the combination of the deep domain knowledge in financial services, on the one hand, and technology capabilities, on the other hand. Alongside the growth of expertise in financial services since the 1980s, Ireland has grown a vibrant IT sector that includes all of the main global firms in hardware, software and internet services. The result is that Ireland has a thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurs, innovators, and researchers in industry and in Ireland’s universities.

A significant competitive advantage that Ireland offers is its well-educated and adaptable workforce. The Ireland for Finance strategy sets out a strong commitment to ensure that this advantage is retained and strengthened through collaboration between the financial services industry and the state’s education system across the full breadth of disciplines and knowledge domains that are needed in the industry, from school level, through university and postgraduate level, to upskilling and reskilling.

Governance and Implementation

The Ireland for Finance strategy is a whole-of-government strategy, supported through collaboration between public and private stakeholders. The Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance at the Department of Finance, Michael D’Arcy TD, is responsible for leading the strategy and implementing the annual action plans.

The Minister of State chairs the public sector High Level Implementation Committee, which consists of senior officials in the Departments of the Taoiseach, of Finance, of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, of Education and Skills, and of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the CEOs of Enterprise Ireland and the IDA. The High Level Implementation Committee provides strategic leadership to continue the development of the sector and ensures coordinated, timely and effective implementation of the strategy.

The Industry Advisory Committee consists of executives from Irish and international firms representing all sub-sectors in the international financial services sector. The Industry Advisory Committee supports the High Level Implementation Committee in implementing the strategy and in monitoring and reporting on progress.

The public sector High Level Implementation Committee meets quarterly as a standalone committee. It and the Industry Advisory Committee meet jointly as the Ireland for Finance Joint Committee each quarter.

The High Level Implementation Committee reports quarterly on progress. This reflects the importance of the international financial services sector to the Irish economy and the priority placed by Government on its growth and development.

Messaging Pack

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade co-ordinates with the relevant Government Departments and the state’s two enterprise agencies on the communications strategy for the Ireland for Finance strategy. One of the tasks in that work is the periodic updating of an international messaging pack that provides key information across a range of topics that firms considering locating in Ireland find useful. Each of these Departments, the two enterprise agencies, the trade bodies in the financial services sector, and Ireland diplomatic and trade missions draw on that messaging pack in their work on raising awareness of Ireland’s offering.

The latest messaging pack is below.

Ireland for International Financial Services, International Messaging - September 2019


Strategic Advisory Group

The Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) worked on proposals to assist in the development of the overall direction of the Ireland For Finance Strategy, which was launched in April 2019. The minutes of meetings are attached below.

Minutes of Strategic Advisory Group