State targets 5,000 jobs in international financial services

Government set to implement five-year strategy for sector

The Government has developed a revised strategy for the growth of the international financial services (IFS) that it hopes will deliver 5,000 net new jobs here between 2020 and 2025.

This is half the level of job creation of previous IFS strategies and reflects the Government’s assessment that artificial intelligence technology and increased automation in financial services could lead to a reduction in the number of jobs in certain areas of the industry.

The focus of the new strategy is to ensure that jobs located here are “high quality, well paid and ‘sticky’ ”, while also supporting the location of a significant number of jobs outside Dublin.

The new strategy, which will be launched at Iveagh House in Dublin on Friday by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and the Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance Michael D'Arcy, is designed to ensure that Ireland retains its leadership role in IFS, in the face of increasing competition from other EU member states, and the likes of Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.


The strategy has been framed around four pillars: operating environment, technology and innovation, talent, and communications and promotion.

Brand recognition

The Government wants to improve Ireland’s brand recognition in IFS, and also wants the private sector to establish a single body that could lobby for the entire sector in Brussels. At present, there are multiple bodies representing different strands of IFS.

Mr D’Arcy, who has responsibility for this sector, has indicated that the Government is prepared to introduce legislation to enhance the “product offering” here to allow Ireland to stay ahead of the competition.

The Government also plans to invest in education and training, and to push for "greater diversity" in the sector. It notes that some 2.25 million EU nationals are working in the UK and that some of them might be looking to relocate because of Brexit.

Global banks

At the end of last year, 44,000 people were employed in IFS here, across 430 companies. Some 45 per cent of these roles were located outside Dublin.

The last strategy, which expires at the end of this year, had targeted an additional 10,000 net new jobs over the five-year period. By the end of 2018, 9,000 new roles had been created.

IFS originated in Dublin's docklands in 1987 following an initiative backed at the time by former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey and financier Dermot Desmond. It ranges from banking and fintech to insurance and reinsurance, and aircraft leasing to funds management and administration.

Fourteen of the top 15 top global lessors are now based in Ireland, along with more than €4 trillion in fund assets, 17 of the top 20 global banks and 11 of the top 15 insurance companies worldwide.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times