As more than 1400 attendees, a new record, entered the latest EBAday, the host city Dublin took the spotlight
Wolfgang Ehrmann, chairman of the board of the Euro Banking Association praised Dublin as a “prospering financial hub” in his welcoming speech.
He said: “The payments industry is currently struggling to find answers to questions. The players are striving to reorient themselves in ongoing market transformation. Change is always a chance for success.”
These statements come in the middle of the UK’s Brexit negotiations, which has led to many rumours that parts of the financial sector in Britain could migrate to Ireland and, in particular, Dublin.
Paul Ryan, Director for International Finance at Ireland’s Department of Finance, was even more enthusiastic about Dublin’s future in the international financial services sphere.
He stated: “Government policy remains unchanged and remains supportive of the IFS (internationally-traded financial services) sector. We want to focus building our strengths and talent.”
He discussed IFS 2020, an action plan for Ireland over the next four years. Its set to put Dublin as a key area for data and analytics, AI, fintech companies, and so on
One of the plan’s many targets was to create 40,000 new jobs in Ireland through the “twin targets of employment and activity”.
In excess of 400 Irish and international companies are based in Ireland, with a concentration on Dublin as the capital as 40% of Irish companies’ jobs are located outside of the city, with only 30% of international-based companies’ jobs outside Dublin.
Ryan said: “Ireland is now the EU 4th’s largest exporter of financial services. This is due to the three Ls: Law, Language and Location.”
Location was highlighted as crucial for Dublin as “Ireland has been regarded as a small island on the periphery of Europe, but that’s led to our success. Between North America and Europe helps us to work with key companies in both locations.”
With regards to Brexit, Ryan offered an enticing arrangement. He said: “We are guaranteed passporting and access to EU markets. Ireland’s relationship to the EU is critically important. It is perfect for companies looking for access to the EU, both inside the UK and elsewhere.”