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Taoiseach launches IFSC strategy for jobs

The Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D., today launched the "Strategy for the International Financial Services Industry in Ireland 2011-2016", setting out a vision for the future development of the IFSC, with the goal of creating 10,000 net new jobs over the next 5 years.

"The IFSC has shown extraordinary resilience through the global financial crisis", said the Taoiseach. Over the past 10 years, employment in the IFSC has grown by almost 400%. Today the sector employs 33,000 and contributes over €1bn in Corporation Tax.

"Job creation and economic growth remain as critical today as they were when the IFSC was created in 1987. But unlike in 1987, today the IFSC builds from a position of strength. Among the hundreds of firms operating here are the biggest names in global finance. They have chosen Ireland and continue to invest here. As the world of finance changes, there is now an opportunity to grow further, for the sector to contribute to Ireland’s economic recovery.

"We have built a position as a global leader, and the Government is committed to Ireland’s future as a financial services centre. The strategy reflects the support outlined in the Programme For Government for the development of the international financial services industry, subject to appropriate and responsible regulation.

"The strategy recognises and fully supports the critical importance of a credible, responsible and proportionate regulatory system whose own capacity and reputation provides, in itself, a source of competitive advantage for this jurisdiction, attracting reputable, responsible and sustainable financial services activity.

The seven drivers of growth identified in the Strategy are:

1. Transparent and competitive direct and indirect tax framework

2. Credible, responsible and proportionate regulatory regime

3. Development of new business lines

4. Coordinated international engagement and marketing

5. Integrated support for investment and growth

6. Targeted development of appropriate skills

7. Sustained control of business costs

These are seen as critical to successfully developing specific opportunities in international insurance and re-insurance; funds management, including alternative investment funds and asset management, banking and payment services. Green financial services; Islamic finance; and cross-border pensions.

The target of 10,000 jobs is a credible estimate based on an expert assessment by those directly involved across access all sectors of the industry. The opportunities are real, the competitive strengths of Ireland are proven, and the capacity of the public authorities and the industry to cooperate to target growth opportunities is proven by the success of the industry to date.

"The IFSC is a testament to the value of focused cooperation between industry and the public sector. The Department of the Taoiseach IFSC Clearing House Group developed this strategy, and is charged with driving its implementation with a renewed mandate from Government."

Notes for Journalists:

The strategy was developed by the IFSC Clearing House Group, based in the Department of the Taoiseach and brings together key public-sector decision makers and senior industry representatives. A list of members of the Group is included in the Strategy document.

A report published in 2010 by Accenture for Financial Services Ireland showed that the sector:

  • employed 32,700
  • represents 7.4% of GDP
  • contributes €1.4bn in Corporation Tax, and a further €700m in payroll taxes
  • accounts for 10% of multi-national employment in Ireland