The Department of Finance recently published its fourth action plan under the Ireland for Finance strategy. The strategy was originally published in 2019. It is a commitment of the Irish government, in partnership with the private sector, to take the necessary steps to develop Ireland’s international financial services sector up to 2025.
The action plan for 2022 addresses five key themes:
- Sustainable finance
- Fintech and digital finance
- Diversity and talent
- Regionalisation and promotion, and
- Operating environment
We provide an executive summary of the key themes and objectives under the action plan for 2022.
The priority measure under the sustainable finance theme is the implementation of Ireland’s Sustainable Finance Roadmap which was published by Sustainable Finance Ireland in October 2021.
Key actions from the Sustainable Finance Roadmap that are prioritised by the action plan include:
- Establishing an international sustainable finance centre of excellence in Ireland
- Accelerating access to sustainable finance knowledge and skills
- Establishing a public–private climate and sustainable finance group
- Assessing the viability of a climate funding platform in Ireland
- Developing a sustainable finance fintech strategy, and
- Delivering a co-ordinated public–private campaign to promote Ireland as a centre for sustainable finance
Fintech and Digital Finance
A total of five measures are prioritised for 2022 under the Fintech and Digital Finance theme including the:
- Implementation of the second phase of the Department of Finance’s Fintech Steering Group
- Development of educational resources to support consumers to engage with fintech
- Development of “instech.ie” and the InsurTech hub which is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at supporting the development of insurance technology services and firms in Ireland
- Delivery of a programme of activities to support Irish-owned fintech companies’ growth in international markets, and
- Development of a co-ordinated programme of activities to raise Ireland’s global visibility as a hub for fintech
Diversity and Talent
The action plan acknowledges the sustained high level of demand from the international financial services sector for people with the appropriate skills in Ireland. Development of Ireland’s talent pool will further bolster the creation of new jobs in innovative businesses. This in turn, will lead to a new wave of entrepreneurs and new leaders across Ireland’s financial services ecosystem.
The three key action measures in the 2022 action plan for diversity and talent include the:
- Launch of the Women in Finance Charter
- Completion of the study commissioned by the Expert Group on Future Skill Needs on the international financial services sector, and
- Review of the International Financial Services apprenticeship programme
Regionalisation and Promotion
A key priority under this theme is the increased promotion of Ireland as a location for industry. This will be achieved by the continued promotion of the successful European Financial Forum, jointly led by IDA Ireland and the Department of Finance and the work done by each of IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in respect of supporting regional development.
Regional development is a core element of the IDA’s new ‘Driving Recovery and Sustainable Growth 2021–2024’ strategy. The IDA will target potential investment that advances regional development. This will include:
- Winning investment that drives recovery and supports development in regional locations
- Partnering with existing regional clients to transform through innovation and upskilling
- Seeking to support transformation, spillovers, and linkages through cluster initiatives, and
- Collaborating with clients and stakeholders to facilitate remote working opportunities
Under this theme, the Department of Finance will continue to engage at EU level with legislative initiatives and will:
- Assess proposed directives and regulations, including engaging with industry associations where appropriate
- Liaise with other government departments and offices, and
- Negotiate and liaise with finance ministries of other EU Member States and with the European institutions to advance and protect Ireland’s interests in the revision of the proposed legislation
Ireland’s international financial services industry continues to go from strength to strength and is undoubtedly an important cog in Ireland’s economy. Its continued success and Ireland’s ambitions to be a leader in sustainable finance, fintech and insurtech can only be achieved through a concerted effort involving both the Irish government and the private sector.
The Ireland for Finance strategy has been designed to meet those goals. A continued focus on the key priorities for the remainder of the life of the strategy will be key to ensuring that Ireland remains a leading location for international financial services.
If you would like to discuss any related queries, please contact a member of our Financial Regulation team.
The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.