Irish financial services resilient through Covid crisis

Resilience of sector indicates it could become a new source of growth for Ireland, according to a new Ibec report.

More than half of the businesses operating in Ireland’s financial services industry felt that the response here to Covid-19 was better than peers in competing jurisdictions.

This is according to a new survey published by Financial Services Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the industry, as part of its major new campaign, ‘Ireland’s future through finance’.

“The sector continues to demonstrate to global peers its resilience, innovation and competitiveness”

Eighty-four percent of survey respondents feel that financial services organisations are now planning operational investments in jurisdictions where crisis resilience is high, highlighting the potential growth opportunities for the sector in Ireland against the backdrop of Covid-19.

Seizing economic opportunities

The report recommends Ireland establish a stakeholder engagement group between the sector, the Government and the Central Bank of Ireland.

It calls for the acceleration and refresh of the Government’s “Ireland for Finance” strategy to reflect the impact of the crisis.

Ireland, it believes needs to be marketed as a premier location for financial services careers and attract strategic talent. This includes investing in third level education, continuous professional development and Skillnet apprenticeship programmes to reflect the rapid development of the fintech sector and the accelerated move to digital in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

Crucially, the report calls for the creation of tactical and strategic initiatives that foster echnology adoption and innovation within the financial services sector, making Ireland the leading jurisdiction for technology and financial services integration.

“This campaign provides a unique insight into how the sector can become a new source of growth for Ireland. Informed by a survey of FSI members, several recommendations are proposed that will enable Ireland to seize the economic opportunity now evident in the financial services sector,” said FSI Director, Paul Sweetman.

“The Covid-19 crisis has taken a severe toll on society and the economy. While serious challenges remain, Ireland’s financial services sector has shown an exceptional ability to perform on the international stage and act as a crucial economic player in the domestic economy. The sector continues to demonstrate to global peers its resilience, innovation and competitiveness.

“As the survey findings show, this crisis-resilience presents a significant opportunity. Ireland can enhance its competitiveness as a premier location to attract financial-services focused inward investment, introducing fresh capital and providing additional high-quality employment at a time when needed,” Sweetman said.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 29 September, 2020