Junior minister rejects claim Ireland is losing out on Brexit investments

Suggestion State is over cautious on financial regulation dismissed by Michael D’Arcy

Minister of State with responsibility for financial services Michael D’Arcy: he rejected suggestions that Ireland is being overly cautious in its approach to financial regulation, thereby costing Ireland post-Brexit investment. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister for State with special responsibility for financial services and insurance Michael D'Arcy has countered suggestions that Ireland is taking an overly-cautious approach to regulation as it tries to attract post-Brexit business.

The junior minister was speaking ahead of an investor road trip to New York and the west coast of the United States this week.

At a reception in Washington DC on the fringes of an annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank, Mr D'Arcy said Ireland had become a "trusted international player in financial services".

“There have been a number of significant announcements made in the past year of firms investing in financial services in Ireland for the first time or are bolstering their operations in the country. We aim to continue building on this.”


He dismissed claims that the Irish regulator was taking a more cautious approach than regulators in other European capitals in meetings with potential investors, noting that Ireland was now part of a pan-European system of regulation.

He was responding to reports that Irish regulators are taking a hesitant, overly-prudent approach in meetings with potential investors who are interested in setting up in Ireland compared to other countries, particularly in areas where the country has little regulatory experience, such as derivative trading and investment funds.

Speaking to The Irish Times in DC, Central Bank governor Philip Lane also emphasised that Irish regulators, like all national banks and regulators across the euro zone, were now working in a pan-European regulatory environment.

“It’s clear now to all investors that the European regulatory framework is the same, no matter which country you go to,” he said. “This is most obvious in banking, but also in investment funds and insurance. Whereas supervision is national, the regulation is pan-European.”

As a result, companies were making investment decisions based on other factors such as the cost of doing business, the availability of staff and whether existing staff would move to Dublin, he added.

Investment pipeline

Mr D'Arcy said Ireland's pipeline of investment was extremely strong. "The conversation tends to be about the companies that don't come but Lloyds of London, for example, involved 16 jobs," he said, referring to the insurance company's decision to move its European headquarters to Brussels.

"Bank of America, JP Morgan, Barclays are all relocating their European headquarters to Dublin. We expect investment to continue."

Mr D'Arcy's comments come amid growing expectations that Ireland will lose out on securing the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority after Britain leaves the EU.

Mr D’Arcy travels to New York on Monday to meet prospective clients in the financial services, insurance and financial technologies industries, before flying to San Francisco and later Los Angeles where he will participate in Ireland Week.

Senior members of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) also attended the IMF-World Bank event , which finished on Sunday, where they held meetings with investors interested in buying Irish debt.

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch, a former Irish Times journalist, was Washington correspondent and, before that, Europe correspondent