Monday 25 September 2017

Central Bank 'can help IDA' to attract foreign investment

Central Bank Governor Professor Philip Lane. Photo: Tony Gavin
Central Bank Governor Professor Philip Lane. Photo: Tony Gavin
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The Central Bank should consider how it can support IDA Ireland in attracting Brexit-related foreign direct investment, a report from the Seanad's Brexit Committee has recommended.

While noting that it must retain its independence, the committee said that an element of co-ordination and involvement from the regulator and the IDA could assist in ensuring Ireland is in the best possible position to attract foreign direct investment in the area of financial services.

The report recommended "ensuring the Central Bank of Ireland is competitive with other EU and eurozone central banks in assisting regulated institutions seeking to locate in Ireland with well-resourced support and information on Ireland's financial regulatory regime".

"The Joint Committee also recommend that the Central Bank of Ireland considers how, without jeopardising its independent regulatory function, it could assist the IDA in the role of attracting foreign direct investment into Ireland arising from Brexit."

The IDA said last week that Ireland would win investment from more than a dozen London-based banks looking to shift operations out of the UK capital as a result of Brexit, including banking giant JP Morgan. But questions have also been asked about the decisions by some big-name insurers to go elsewhere, including Luxembourg, Brussels and Frankfurt, after AIG, Lloyds and Standard Chartered revealed their plans.

In a recent letter to the chairman of the Seanad committee, Dublin-Rathdown senator Neale Richmond, Central Bank Governor Professor Philip Lane said the promotion role can be filled by other government agencies, allowing the Central Bank to focus on its twin regulatory goals of maintaining financial stability and protecting consumers.

"While there may be exceptions, I am not aware of any comparable central bank that has an explicit promotional mandate to attract financial services firms to its jurisdiction," Prof Lane said.

"One of the most attractive features Ireland can have as a location for financial sector investment is a reputation for high quality regulation and supervision."

The Seanad committee report, due to be launched by Mr Richmond and colleagues this week, also called for the option of Northern Ireland being able to have membership of the European economic area, with additional agreements covering areas such as agriculture.

The committee also said the Government should advocate strongly for the UK to reconsider its original position and consider remaining in the single market and/or customs union, and called for a relaxation of state aid rules on farming and the agri-food industry.

Irish Independent

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