‘Heavy regulation’ affects IFSC

Major banks privately blame tougher regulation for decision to leave

The IFSC in Dublin. Some international banks are believed to be leaving the IFSC due to heavier regulation in Ireland. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien /The Irish Times

The IFSC in Dublin. Some international banks are believed to be leaving the IFSC due to heavier regulation in Ireland. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien /The Irish Times

 

The International Financial Services Centre in Dublin is losing out on major international banks because of heavy regulation, the deputy chairman of AIB Michael Somers has said.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One today, Mr Somers said he was “dismayed” to see banks, including big names such as Goldman Sachs, handing back their banking licences. Although banks were not publicly blaming tough regulation in Ireland for the move, the former chief executive of the National Treasury Management Agency said the institutions had said in private that this was behind their decision.

Mr Somers said the country was “shooting itself in the foot in many ways”, and the IFSC was one of the huge benefits of the country.

The IFSC employs 30,000 people and could have grown further, Mr Somers said.

“We need those people to stay here,” he said.

The banking sector was also losing out on skilled workers due to the cap imposed on pay, he said. AIB has had no chief financial officer for some time, although it was hopeful of finding someone to take up the role soon.

“The is a market level of pay,” Mr Somers said, adding that the best people would just leave.