Financial Services Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, says that Ireland’s international financial services sector could provide much needed high quality jobs in the regions in Ireland. Speaking at the Financial Services Ireland (FSI), Ibec Annual Dinner sponsored by Accenture, Marc Coleman, Director of FSI, said: “Between expansion already under way and new positions likely to arrive from Brexit, FSI’s latest financial service report is predicting that we could reach 50,000 jobs by 2020.
“The challenge will be to spread these around the country and Ibec’s call for investment in our region’s is particularly vital in this regard.”
Speaking at the dinner, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney T.D. said: “Ireland is a trading nation. Much of our prosperity comes from our position as an open, globalised trading partner. But we recognise too that Ireland and Irish companies will need new markets internationally if we are truly to become an island at the centre of the world”.
Mr.Coleman continued: “Driving continuous innovation and research in the international financial services industry remains a key priority for the Government. IFS is now a truly national industry, with significant numbers employed in IFS companies. Approximately 40% of those jobs in Irish-owned IFS companies and 30% of jobs in foreign-owned IFS companies are located outside of the Dublin/ Mid-East region. We want to ensure that growth in the sector continues to be broadly based.”
A forthcoming report on financial service employment in Ireland, published in conjunction with Accenture, shows that numbers employed in the sector surpassed the 40,000 mark in 2015, reaching a total of 40,125. “The IFS 2020 strategy, which FSI helped initiate in 2015, targeted an additional 10,000 jobs by 2020. Brexit now makes that target achievable but beatable,” Mr. Coleman said.
Joe Duffy , FSI Chairman & Head of Global Client Management and Country Executive for BNY Mellon in Ireland, which employs 1,500 in Cork, Wexford and Dublin, said that existing jobs in the sector also needed to be defended: “The potential for new jobs from Brexit is high, but so are risks to existing jobs and we need to ensure that the transition to Brexit and post Brexit regulatory arrangements facilitate job retention.
“As an industry leader I know that region with skills, infrastructure and prior financial service activity have an edge over other areas. So, while targeting jobs to regions is important, we also need to provide regions with the infrastructure they need to build a depth of skill and competency needed to be future relevant and resilient.”
Mr. Duffy added that the sector employs thousands along the Western seaboard from Donegal to Kerry, in the midlands and along the south coast: “This can and should be built on to help regions cope with potential job loss from other areas. FSI is, over 2017 and 2018, hosting regional events around Ireland to promote financial services jobs growth.”