10,000 IFSC jobs targeted in major new strategy

Cabinet to consider document later in February

The  IFSC, Dublin: the draft strategy document puts a strong focus on driving employment among financial technology companies. Photograph:  David Sleator

The IFSC, Dublin: the draft strategy document puts a strong focus on driving employment among financial technology companies. Photograph: David Sleator

 

A new strategy for the IFSC aimed at creating 10,000 additional jobs over the next five years has been drawn up for the Government and is set to be considered by the Cabinet later this month.

Following months of consultation and more than 100 submissions from industry and the public sector, a group chaired jointly by the Departments of Finance and the Taoiseach has presented a draft strategy with 22 proposed actions to Minister of State Simon Harris, who has responsibility for the IFSC.

A major focus is being placed on driving employment among financial technology (FinTech) companies, which are involved in payment processing, innovation in electronic banking, and reducing fraud.

The document, entitled Vision and Targets for IFS 2020, calls for the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to “drive collaboration between Ireland’s IT and IFS sectors – both indigenous and multinational – to win additional FinTech investments”.

Dedicated syndicate

Other proposals include creating a “banner brand” for the IFSC, possibly expanding its footprint in Dublin’s docklands, where the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) has control over a large number of sites.

An annual industry summit – along the lines of the hugely successful Web Summit – to promote investment here is also being considered, starting either late this year or early in 2016.

Mr Harris recently attended the eight Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong and would like to see a European version hosted here to place the spotlight on the IFSC.

In addition, the Clearing House Group, which gives IFSC banks and professional services firms an opportunity to influence policy, looks set to be scrapped. The draft strategy calls for it to be “reconfigured” and it is understood that a new industry consultative forum is likely to be set up, with decisions taken by the public sector.

Payments hub

It is understood that the recommendations will be refined before the Minister presents a final document to the Cabinet at the end of February. The plan would then be launched in time for the various ministerial trade missions around St Patrick’s Day.

Embassies tasked

The draft strategy was presented at Government Buildings last Friday to about 50 representatives from the public and private sectors.

The IFSC was set up in 1987 and started with just three companies and 55 employees.

By the end of 2014, employment levels had reached 35,000, with 10,000 roles located outside Dublin.