IFSC strategy needs “radical” changes to continue adding jobs, report says
Department of Finance report recommends plan to stem loss of jobs since collapse of global financial sector
The International Financial Services Centre. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
The “offering” of the International Financial Services Centre needs a “radical rethink”, according to an internal report in the Department of Finance.
The position paper, seen by The Irish Times, highlights the drift in banking jobs in the IFSC due to the collapse of the global financial sector in 2008.
“It is unlikely that new capital will be invested in the banks,” it states, adding a number of banks are in wind-down and this trend is “unlikely to be staunched” in the short term.
It notes there is a growing reliance on a small number of banks for the bulk of the jobs.
The position paper, compiled last year by Neil Ryan, the chief risk officer in the department, recommends relaunching the IFSC brand, better marketing by the various agencies that promote the centre, and a targeted approach to attracting jobs.
It says the advisory and asset-management sector can continue to grow with a “proper, well-thought-out plan”.
It highlights aircraft leasing as a potential sector for growth and suggests co-investment in indigenous funds by the State, following a model used in Singapore.
A spokesman for the department said the paper was designed to inform senior management about the challenges at the IFSC.
At the March 2013 meeting of the IFSC Clearing House Group, which includes representatives from Government, State agencies and the financial sector, IDA chief executive Barry O’Leary said there needed to be realistic expectations about job creation in the financial sector in the short term.
He said a next-generation IFSC district in the Dublin docklands should be considered, to send a strong signal about Ireland’s recovery.
The IDA said yesterday that between January 2011 and June this year, it had won more than 70 investments that would bring 7,300 jobs to the financial services sector. “A significant proportion of these have gone to the IFSC,” it 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.”
The IDA said it was “on track” to meet the Government’s five-year target to create 10,000 IFSC jobs by 2016.
The IFSC employs more than 32,000 people and contributes about €2 billion annually to the exchequer.