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Brexit Issues

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 6 April 2017

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Ceisteanna (121)

Michael McGrath


121. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the status of his Department's efforts to attract financial services businesses here post-Brexit; the role of the Central Bank in that process; if he has considered adapting that role; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17443/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

Contingency planning for Brexit has been ongoing at all levels of Government well in advance of the UK EU referendum in June 2016. Ireland has a successful track record of competing for, and winning, global foreign direct investment. One of the key pillars of that success is the growth of the International Financial Services (IFS) sector, in particular over the past 30 years. Ireland is now recognised internationally as a leading global centre for internationally traded financial services.

In March 2015, the Government launched the lFS2020 Strategy, a whole-of-government approach to further driving the growth and development of the IFS sector in Ireland. Implementation of the IFS2020 Strategy and the annual Action Plans is driven by a public sector High Level Implementation Committee (HLIC). The HLIC, meeting on a quarterly basis, is chaired by Minister of State for Financial Services Eoghan Murphy TD. Minister of State Murphy also chairs quarterly meetings of the IFS2020 Joint Committee, comprising of members of the public sector HLIC and senior IFS industry representatives. Brexit is a standing agenda item at these quarterly meetings.

The Government is keen to maximise on opportunities that arise from Brexit where possible. The IFS2020 Strategy, the long-term vision for international financial services, was developed and put in place long before the UK decision to leave the EU. However, it provides a clear framework to maximise any opportunities that might arise from that decision particularly through the annual Action Plans. The annual Action Plans enable a tailored response to deal with these challenges and opportunities as they arise. The IFS2020 Strategy combines long-term strategic thinking with the flexible tools to react to any domestic and international developments occurring over the period.

In January Minister of State Murphy launched the IFS2020 Action Plan for 2017, the Action Plan has two sections, the first is a contextual piece in respect of Brexit, and the second section outlines the 40 specific measures to be actioned under the plan and the lead government departments, agencies or industry bodies who lead on each measure.

Also in January, the second annual European Financial Forum was held in Dublin Castle. The forum, which was hosted by Minister of State Murphy is designed to showcase Ireland's financial services offering to an international audience and highlight the Government's commitment to the development of international financial services in Ireland.

Since his appointment Minister of State Murphy has undertaken a significant number of overseas visits to promote Ireland as a destination for financial services investment and launch the IFS Ireland banner brand.

In respect of the role of the Central Bank of Ireland, the Central Bank does not have a promotional mandate and legally cannot promote Ireland for financial services investment. The clear mandate of the bank is to protect consumers and ensure the financial stability of the state. A key component of a successful and attractive jurisdiction for the location of financial service firms is a strong and independent regulator, with international credibility.

The Central Bank is well resourced to meet the current level of demand and enquiries that are being presented. The Central Bank Commission has recently approved additional complement of 170 staff for 2017 to bring the Central Bank's total staffing to 1,800 full-time equivalents. The 2017 expansion includes dedicated resources of additional staff to address specific Brexit-related new business needs. The Central Bank also plans to assess on a regular basis the need for contingency-based extra Brexit related hiring in response to additional business volumes.

The Central Bank is already engaging with a significant number of firms across all sectors, and is committed to providing a high quality, fair and transparent authorisation process for all applicants. The Central Bank will expect a substantive presence in Ireland.