The Government’s Strategy for the development of Ireland's international financial services sector to 2025, 'Ireland for Finance', was launched at the end of last April. The vision of the Strategy is for “Ireland to be a top-tier location of choice for specialist international financial services and to enhance and protect our future competitiveness”.
The Ireland for Finance Strategy was accompanied by an Action Plan containing over 50 action measures for implementation in 2019 across sub-sectors such as banking, investment funds, investment management, insurance, fintech, payments, and aviation leasing.
The Ireland for Finance strategy is led by the Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D'Arcy TD. The Ireland for Finance strategy is supported by 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 & Skills, of Foreign Affairs & Trade, and the CEOs of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. The strategy is also supported by an Industry Advisory Committee, which consists of representatives of Irish and international IFS companies. The HLIC and the IAC meet quarterly as the Joint Committee.
The Ireland for Finance (IFF) Strategy includes a commitment under Action 15 (Resourcing of the Department of Finance) to ensure the optimal resources are in place to deliver the objectives of the Ireland for Finance strategy and this is monitored on a continuous basis.
A dedicated International Financial Services (IFS) Unit works on the Ireland for Finance strategy and operates as the Secretariat to the various IFF Committees. It also coordinates work on IFS with other parts of the Department and the Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. In the promotion of the Ireland for Finance strategy abroad, the IFS Unit act as the key liaison point with the Embassies, Consulates, and the international offices of the Enterprise Agencies, (IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland). It also works closely domestically and internationally with individual businesses, their advisors, and industry representative organisations.
Apart from the dedicated IFS Unit, responsibility for IFS issues is spread across different areas of the Department with associated resourcing, namely: Financial Services Division; Banking Division; and International Finance Division. Financial Services Division covers funds and asset management, along with insurance. Banking Division covers banking and payments, while International Finance Division covers Sustainable Finance, FinTech and RegTech. In addition, there is input from Legal Services and the Department’s Financial Advisory Services across the range of international financial services on particular issues.
Finally, the Department of Finance recently advertised a position for a Communications/Media Manager role who will be appointed in the near future. This role will be involved in the promotion of IFS with the two Enterprise Agencies and our Embassy network. An external PR company has also been recently appointed to assist with particular aspects of IFS promotional work.