Ireland an ‘enthusiastic’ EU state, but Brexit puts pressure on financial sector

24 Jan 2017


Ireland Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, said he’s “fully committed” to developing the country’s financial services sector, amid uncertainty after the UK’s Brexit vote.

Irish authorities are hoping to benefit from further overseas financial services investment, with both the Government and IDA lauding the country’s position at an international summit today (24 January).

The European Financial Forum (EFF), part of an ongoing governmental strategy to push IFS projects by the end of the decade, saw Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, say his Government is “fully committed” to developing the IFS sector in Ireland, with the country remaining “enthusiastic members of the EU”.

Kenny said that although Brexit presented “challenges to this country, it also offers opportunities to attract new opportunities to our shores”.

With 400 IFS companies located in Ireland, and an estimated 40,000 employees across the sector, the significance of financial services to the national economy is pretty obvious.

The IDA claims Ireland is the most attractive location, globally, for ‘alternative investment funds’, with 17 of the top 20 global banks having a presence in Ireland. Taxation, no doubt, plays a primary role in this.

“Ireland’s proposition of EU market access, regulatory passport, global product distribution, cost-effectiveness, deep domain knowledge, innovative technology offerings and superior customer service, together with English language and a common law system will continue to prove compelling to financial services companies,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland.

Again, taxation, no doubt, plays a primary role.

There is plenty of activity in Ireland centres in Dublin city, and given the value of the cake, many other counties are seeking a slice. For example, Barrie O’Connell, president of Cork Chamber, spoke at EFF of his county’s pursuit of some of the business.

Highlighting Cork’s infrastructure, O’Connell namechecked University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology as supports for future IFS industry.

“As the only Irish location outside of Dublin with multiple IFS operations in existence already; international connectivity available to London, Europe and North America directly from Cork Airport; as well as tier-one data connectivity; companies benefit from being able to service their business needs efficiently and effectively from Cork,” he said.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic