Wednesday 26 July 2017

Ireland doesn't want brass plate operations as a result of Brexit - Noonan

Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: Tom Burke
Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: Tom Burke
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Ireland doesn't want brass plate operations coming here as a result of Brexit, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.

The minister said there has been interest in Ireland, but that the Government only wants investment that will bring jobs.

Ireland has been tipped as a contender to attract tens of thousands of banking jobs here displaced  from London as a result of Britain's vote to leave the EU.

"We don't want brass plate operations that simply come here and screw a brass plate on to a door for tax advantages and don't have the strong economic activity here that creates jobs, we don't want that," Mr Noonan told reporters, on the margins of a Department of Finance tax conference in Dublin Castle.

"Ireland is in the business of attracting job creating investment to the country. We don't want brass plate operations so we would exclude those, then it's a matter for the Central Bank to decide what level of regulation is required for different financial services."

It comes as financial news wire Reuters reported the Central Bank had indicated to global investment banks they would face a tough time getting approval to shift operations here.

The Reuters report said Ireland was reluctant to absorb large-scale investment banking, which involves advising and financing large corporations, and is the most lucrative of all banking activities. It also said regulatory resources may be an issue.

"There are no restrictions, but obviously we don't have to take everything that comes," Mr Noonan said.

He said the message from the Central Bank is "exploratory and explanatory"

"People come with queries and the Central Bank says this is how we do it here and this is the regime," Mr Noonan said.

"There is a lot of interest. I wouldn't be anxious about any aspect of what we're hearing."

Mr Noonan said there was no question of not having regulatory capacity, as the Central Bank can access regulators from any European country to come to Ireland.

"The bank has been recruiting anyway, so I don't think they'll have to avail of that option," the minister said.

Mr Noonan also said he didn't see a huge impact on Ireland from plans in the US for tax reform.

President Elect Donald Trump said on the campaign trail that he would slash the US corporate tax rate to 15pc.

Mr Noonan, who has recently returned from a trip to The United States, said he met Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

"I would think that there is tax reform coming and it will involve both lower rates and some arrangement for the repatriation of profits overseas," Mr Noonan said.

But he said he has no insight into the incoming administration's proposals.

"Either way I don't see a huge impact in Ireland. We've been expecting tax reform in the United States for a long time. The US multinationals that I met in California will continue to invest on a world wide basis and if they're trading into the European community, they going to trade from within the community, they're not going to have some kind of base in the United States and export from there," the minister said.

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