IFSC faces ‘radical rethink’ as effects of crash become clear
Global financial crisis place financial services centre at a crossroads
In spite of its name, responsibility for the IFSC actually falls into the orbit of the Department of the Taoiseach, a legacy no doubt of Charlie Haughey’s close involvement in its establishment a quarter of a century ago.
Minutes from the January meeting of the Clearing House Group show that Moran spoke of the possibility of Ireland being developed as a global centre of excellence for property.
Moran sought the views of the group on the feasibility of the IFSC playing a role in the financing part of what might become known as the IPSC – presumably this stands for Irish Property Services Centre.
Given the depth and scale of the property crash here since 2008, it would be somewhat ironic if the country was to become a major hub for property services.
At the March meeting of the group, IDA chief executive Barry O’Leary and his colleague Kieran Donoghue suggested that Ireland could take advantage of lower property prices, construction costs and State ownership via Nama to create a “next-generation IFSC” in the docklands area of Dublin with the development of “signature buildings”.
Such a district would send a strong signal about recovery and Ireland’s intention to regain its status as a viable and growing European economy, the IDA officials told the group.
They also suggested building on our capability in aircraft leasing, possibly by developing Shannon Airport as a specialist centre for aviation-related activities.
Given that Ryan’s position paper was prepared some months ago, what progress has been made to grow the IFSC in the interim?
The IDA said that between January 2011 and June of this year it had won more than 70 investments that will bring 7,300 jobs into the international financial services sector.
“A significant proportion of these have gone to the IFSC,” a statement from the State agency added.
“It is also worth bearing in mind that the IFSC, like other international financial hubs, has been impacted by the global financial crisis.
“Despite this, the centre is growing again and has recovered any employment losses it suffered during the crisis.This is a commendable achievement.”
In relation to the Government’s stated strategy to create 10,000 new jobs by 2016 in the IFSC, the IDA said it is “on track” to achieve this target.
“Like other financial centres, the IFSC will inevitably evolve and change over time. It does, however, remain an integral part of Ireland’s offering to win investment and jobs from the industry on a global basis,” the IDA added.