The Irish Government today 26th April 2019 unveiled their new “Ireland for Finance” whole of Government strategy for the further development of the international financial services (IFS) sector in Ireland.
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.
More information on the strategy can be found here:
IFS2020 is the government’s strategy for the further development of the International Financial Services Sector in Ireland.
The IFS strategy is a whole-of-government strategy, supported through collaboration between public and private stakeholders.
The Strategy has a clear vision for Ireland to be the recognised global location of choice for specialist international financial services, building on our strengths in talent, technology, innovation and excellent client services. The overall aim of the IFS2020 Strategy is to increase the numbers employed in Ireland’s international financial services sector by promoting Ireland as a location for IFS, driving continuous improvement in the operating environment and competitiveness and by driving research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the sector.
The IFS2020 target is to grow the level of direct employment in the IFS sector from 35,000 at year-end 2014 to at least 45,000 people by year-end 2019, requiring the creation of a net total of 10,000 new jobs.
The Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance at the Department of Finance, Michael D’Arcy TD, is responsible for the implementation of the strategy.
The strategy is being implemented by means of annual action plansThese action plans contain a list of measures that are to be actioned in that particular year and specify which organisation is to lead on each measure.
The 2019 Action Plan
Although the IFS2020 Strategy was devised long before the referendum in the UK, it is a flexible and adaptable strategy that is designed to take into account developments where they occur. The preparation and subsequent publication of action plans allow the strategy to be reviewed annually, and allows the Minister to outline the objectives for the year ahead.
The Action Plan for 2019 was published in February on the eve of the European Financial Forum and contains 33 measures. The Action Plan’s priority action areas are:
The hosting of the European Financial Forum has become a key IFS2020 deliverable. The event brings together both public and private sector leaders from around the world to lead debate and discussion around the challenges and issues facing the global economy.
More information on the action plans can be found here: IFS2020 Action Plan for 2019
Read more about the IFS2020 implementation structures.
The measures are listed under the following five strategic priorities:
Further information on IFS2020 can be found below:
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 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 fourth European Financial Forum took place in Dublin Castle on Wednesday, 13th February 2019 and had speakers from a very strong mix of the international organisations – Asia Development Bank, World Bank/IFC plus strong representation from Europe with DG FISMA, the SRB and ESMA sending senior representatives.
In addition, the 2019 Forum featured senior executives from companies that locate significant operations in Ireland to access the European market such as:
Attendees at the 2019 forum also heard from leading public sector representatives from across the globe including:
The date for the next European Financial Forum in Dublin is Wednesday 12th February 2020.
The IFS strategy is a whole-of-government strategy, supported through collaboration between public and private stakeholders. The implementation of the strategy is led by a dedicated Minister of State at the Department of Finance.
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 representatives of Irish and international IFS companies. The IAC supports the HLIC in implementing the strategy and in monitoring and reporting on progress.
The HLIC meets on a quarterly basis as a standalone committee. It also meets as the IFS2020 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.
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.