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International Financial Services Strategy

Published: 17 January 2020
From: Department of Finance

International Financial Services Strategy 2025– Ireland for Finance

On 26 April 2019 the Irish Government launched their new ‘Ireland for Finance’ whole of Government strategy for the further development of the international financial services (IFS) sector in Ireland to 2025.

In formulating the Strategy the Government has taken account of current and future developments while also exploring potential challenges and opportunities, especially the potential impact of technology, both positive and negative.

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

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

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. operating environment pillar focused on ensuring the policy, culture and legislative conditions underpinning IFS will support growth.

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

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

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

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

The Strategy retains the “whole of Government “approach that has underpinned the success of previous Government strategies for the international financial services sector. This will be supported through collaboration between public and private stakeholders and educational institutions to ensure the talents and expertise of all three sectors can continue to be harnessed.

The Strategy will be updated each year by means of annual action plans. This will ensure that the strategy remains relevant and up-to-date in identifying and addressing emerging challenges. Each annual action plan will contain a list of measures grouped under each of the four pillars to be actioned in that particular year with a particular body (or bodies) tasked with leading on the implementation of each measure.

There are over 50 actions for completion in 2019, grouped under each pillar. Some of the headlines actions for 2019 include:

• Pillar 1 – consideration of CB stakeholder engagement group

• Pillar 2 – establishment of a Fintech Foresight Group

• Pillar 3 – deliver new course ‘Leadership in Future of Financial Services’

• Pillar 4 – Regional promotion

More information on the strategy can be found here:

Ireland For Finance


Link to press release Ministers Donohoe & D’Arcy launch “Ireland for Finance” - A new strategy for the international financial services sector

Ireland for International Financial Services, International Messaging - September 2019


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 (HLIC), which consists of the senior officials of 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 HLIC provides strategic leadership to continue the development of the sector and ensures coordinated, timely and effective implementation of the strategy.

The Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) consists of executives from Irish and international IFS companies representing all sub-sectors in the field. The IAC supports the HLIC in implementing the strategy and in monitoring and reporting on progress.

The public sector HLIC meets on a quarterly basis as a standalone committee. It also meets as the Ireland for Finance Joint Committee on a quarterly basis with the Industry Advisory Committee (IAC).

The public sector HLIC 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.

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

European Financial Forum

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

The Forum also 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 date for the next European Financial Forum in Dublin is Wednesday 12th February 2020.

The fifth European Financial Forum will take place in Dublin Castle on Wednesday, 12th 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:

• David Livingstone, Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Citi

• Nick Stansbury, Head of Commodity Research, Legal & General Investment Management

• Gina Miller, Co-Founder, SCM Direct

• George Muzinich, Founder & Chair, Muzinich & Co.

• Mary Daly, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

• Norihiro Takahashi, President, Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan

• Liu Wei, Chairman, National Council Social Security Fund of China

• Gabriel Makhlouf, Governor, Central Bank of Ireland, and

• Alessandra Perrazzelli, Deputy Governor, Bank of Italy.

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