FSU union targets IFSC banks and fintechs in conditions survey

Survey comes as Irish retail banks have shed more than 25,000 jobs over the past decade

The IFSC. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The IFSC. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

The Financial Services Union (FSU) has launched its first ever cross-sector survey, seeking to build a broad picture of working conditions as it seeks to expand its footprint.

“Work in finance can be difficult. Members tell us about long hours, out-of-hours work and stress,” said Gareth Murphy, acting general secretary of the FSU. “This survey will allow us to better quantify the challenge workers face and support our members in their workplaces.”

The FSU has set its sights in recent years on building up members across non-unionised banks in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and Dublin’s fintech hub. It comes as Irish retail banks, the union’s traditional focus, have shed more than 25,000 jobs over the past decade, following the implosion of the property market.

The job losses span bailed-out lenders whose businesses have contracted, overseas firms such as Bank of Scotland, Danske Bank and ACC Bank that have retrenched, and failed companies such as Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide.

The survey, which can be completed online at yoursayonfinance.org, is expected to remain open for two to three months, was developed by the union in conjunction with Colin Whitson, formerly of the National College of Ireland.

‘Better conditions’

The FSU has 15,000 member across 50 companies located in the Republic, Northern Ireland and Britain.

“Unionised workplaces are often better workplaces, and we are declaring our support for all finance workers who wish to come together in the FSU to campaign for better working conditions,” said Mr Murphy.

The financial landscape is changing rapidly in Ireland, as international banks such as Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch expand their presence in Ireland on foot of Brexit, and fintech technology companies move into areas that were traditionally the preserve of retail banks.

Late last month, the Central Bank granted authorisation to Google Payment Ireland under the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), allowing the tech giant to issue and acquire payments across the EU under passporting rights. It comes two years after Facebook obtained an e-money licence from the Irish regulator.