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An 'experienced and innovative' Central Bank will be a key resource in Ireland's Brexit plan to attract financial jobs to Ireland says Minister Eoghan Murphy in Government's IFS2020 Plan ahead of EFF Back
"Maintaining a vibrant and attractive international financial services sector requires a financial regulator that is both experienced and innovative", he says. The statement is in the Minister's forward to a 2017 Action plan document on the Government's IFS2020 Strategy published today, ahead of the Government's European Financial Forum in Dublin on January 24th.
In a lengthy statement detailing the important role the Central Bank will play in facilitating a positive response from Ireland to Brexit, the minister says that "As the long-term vision for international financial services, the IFS2020 Strategy 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 and ongoing work in 2017".
IFS 2020 Action Plan 2017.


"A strong, robust, independent regulator is essential to any successful international financial system – the Central Bank of Ireland meets all of these criteria, balancing experience with innovation. The Central Bank is committed to providing a high quality, fair and transparent authorisation process for all applicants and it stands ready to engage with new applicants seeking authorisation or existing firms seeking to extend their business. Potential applicants will find the Central Bank to be engaged, efficient, open and rigorous.

"Over the coming years, the Irish financial sector will continue to grow, and quite possibly to a significant extent. The Central Bank is committed to meeting this challenge. Workforce planning for the next year contains a Brexit component and contingency planning, including in respect of the additional applications that may result.

In his Forward to the 2017 report, he says 'the re-appointment by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD in May of 2016 of a Minister of State with responsibility for financial services sends a clear signal of the Government’s strong ongoing commitment to Ireland’s international financial services industry and it demonstrates the importance of the IFS2020 Strategy'.

'In developing the Strategy, the Government envisaged Ireland as a leading global location for specialist international financial services, across all sub-sectors including: banking; insurance; funds and asset management; FinTech; payments and business services; – building on our strengths in innovative technologies, data analytics, governance, risk and compliance. The Government also set an ambitious medium-term objective: to grow the numbers directly employed in the international financial services sector by 10,000 – a net increase of almost 30% - over the five year term of the Strategy.

"The IFS2020 Strategy combines long-term strategic thinking with the flexible tools to react to any domestic and international developments occurring over the period. The annual Action Plans enable us to tailor responses to deal with these challenges and opportunities as they arise. One such recent development which has given rise to much uncertainty as we look to the international landscape in the years ahead is the decision of the UK to leave the European Union. Ireland remains completely and very strongly committed to our membership of the European Union and the Eurozone despite the UK referendum. And, following determined policy action over recent years, Ireland’s economic recovery is now firmly established and sustainable, and we will be tackling these new challenges from a position of strength.

"While there will be many challenges arising from the UK’s decision to leave the EU, there are also likely to be some opportunities for Ireland in relation to international financial services and we will of course, seek to optimise those opportunities. As the long-term vision for international financial services, the IFS2020 Strategy 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 and ongoing work in 2017".

"Maintaining a vibrant and attractive international financial services sector requires a financial regulator that is both experienced and innovative.

"A strong, robust, independent regulator is essential to any successful international financial system – the Central Bank of Ireland meets all of these criteria, balancing experience with innovation. The Central Bank is committed to providing a high quality, fair and transparent authorisation process for all applicants and it stands ready to engage with new applicants seeking authorisation or existing firms seeking to extend their business. Potential applicants will find the Central Bank to be engaged, efficient, open and rigorous. Over the coming years, the Irish financial sector will continue to grow,
and quite possibly to a significant extent. The Central Bank is committed to meeting this challenge. Workforce planning for the next year contains a Brexit component and contingency planning, including in respect of the additional applications that may result.

Full Report

Highlights:

* "Contingency planning for Brexit has been ongoing at all levels of Government well in advance of the UK EU referendum in June 2016. In addition to independent reviews and contingency planning undertaken by the Central Bank and the enterprise agencies, a comprehensive review of the risks and opportunities for financial services was prepared by the Department of Finance in advance of the referendum. This work has been, and will continue to be, regularly reviewed and updated by dedicated teams across Government. Departments are currently refining their analysis, methodically examining all possible models for the future UK relationship with the EU, from single market membership to full exit from the customs union".

* The latest update on the IFS2020 Action Plan says that provisional data for 2016 indicates the job creation target (10,000 net new jobs by 2020) "remains firmly on track, with current indications of further economic growth reflecting a strong pipeline of additional new jobs in 2017." This follows the creation of 2,600 net new IFS jobs by IDA and Enterprise Ireland-supported companies in 2015.

* Furthermore, the report says the Central Bank and the IDA have confirmed an increased interest in firms assessing Ireland as a location for financial services authorisation and investment.

* In relation to Brexit and contingency planning, the report says that evolving from the overall IFS2020 vision and the Government’s Contingency Planning, Brexit both underpins the Action Plan 2017 and also features in individual measures.

* The report notes "while it will undoubtedly have an impact on Ireland’s IFS sector, the size and scale of new opportunities from the UK referendum result are unknown. There will be opportunities to attract new operations but it is equally important to retain and grow existing activities by remaining competitive in terms of Ireland’s IFS offering."

* It says that while the Irish Government’s approach and engagement with the IFS sector in the aftermath of Brexit has been positively received internationally, it will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis "to ensure that it remains focused and appropriate".

* The report says Ireland "will continue to promote and show-case itself as a leading location for specialist international financial services including through the second annual European Financial Forum in Dublin on 24 January 2017, the IFS Ireland banner brand, and the ongoing work of the Government departments and agencies."

* It adds that input from all public sector and industry stakeholders will continue to form a key part of the Brexit contingency planning process. This includes both informal consultation through ongoing bilateral and multilateral meetings with domestic and international firms, representative bodies and Government officials, as well as though the framework of the public/private IFS2020 Joint Committee.

* The report indicates that the Government recognises the potential increase in demand for international schooling for their children from overseas executives and professionals and specifically for International Baccalaureate (IB) education. To ensure an adequate supply of such schooling, it says, "relevant departments and agencies will continue to monitor the provision of international schooling in Ireland," with the IFS2020 secretariat within the Department of Finance providing a point of contact for interested parties.

* The report notes "the Central Bank regularly emphasises its readiness to confront any challenges posed by Brexit. It is open for engagement and it has the resources including dedicated professional teams, to deal with any increase in applications. The Central Bank has made it clear that its workforce planning for 2017 reflects the additional resources needed to deal with applications that come its way, and that the Central Bank has built in contingency should the need arise.

* The latest update on the IFS2020 Action Plan says that provisional data for 2016 indicates the job creation target (10,000 net new jobs by 2020) "remains firmly on track, with current indications of further economic growth reflecting a strong pipeline of additional new jobs in 2017." This follows the creation of 2,600 net new IFS jobs by IDA and Enterprise Ireland-supported companies in 2015.

* Furthermore, the report says the Central Bank and the IDA have confirmed an increased interest in firms assessing Ireland as a location for financial services authorisation and investment.

* In relation to Brexit and contingency planning, the report says that evolving from the overall IFS2020 vision and the Government’s Contingency Planning, Brexit both underpins the Action Plan 2017 and also features in individual measures.

* The report notes "while it will undoubtedly have an impact on Ireland’s IFS sector, the size and scale of new opportunities from the UK referendum result are unknown. There will be opportunities to attract new operations but it is equally important to retain and grow existing activities by remaining competitive in terms of Ireland’s IFS offering."

* It says that while the Irish Government’s approach and engagement with the IFS sector in the aftermath of Brexit has been positively received internationally, it will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis "to ensure that it remains focused and appropriate".

* The report says Ireland "will continue to promote and show-case itself as a leading location for specialist international financial services including through the second annual European Financial Forum in Dublin on 24 January 2017, the IFS Ireland banner brand, and the ongoing work of the Government departments and agencies."

* It adds that input from all public sector and industry stakeholders will continue to form a key part of the Brexit contingency planning process. This includes both informal consultation through ongoing bilateral and multilateral meetings with domestic and international firms, representative bodies and Government officials, as well as though the framework of the public/private IFS2020 Joint Committee.

* The report indicates that the Government recognises the potential increase in demand for international schooling for their children from overseas executives and professionals and specifically for International Baccalaureate (IB) education. To ensure an adequate supply of such schooling, it says, "relevant departments and agencies will continue to monitor the provision of international schooling in Ireland," with the IFS2020 secretariat within the Department of Finance providing a point of contact for interested parties.

* The report notes "the Central Bank regularly emphasises its readiness to confront any challenges posed by Brexit. It is open for engagement and it has the resources including dedicated professional teams, to deal with any increase in applications. The Central Bank has made it clear that its workforce planning for 2017 reflects the additional resources needed to deal with applications that come its way, and that the Central Bank has built in contingency should the need arise."
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