High Irish taxes pushing financial talent abroad, says Canadian bank
High earners working in financial services are more likely to choose New York or London over Dublin until personal tax rates here come down, a senior executive from Canada's fourth-largest bank has said.
Ireland is struggling to attract "key individuals" because of the tax structure here, said the managing director of Bank of Montreal in Ireland, Neil Ward.
Mr Ward is also the chairman of the Federation of International Banks in Ireland.
"We have a radical low corporate tax rate that has been a huge benefit to the country. Now we need a similar radical tax regime for personal income taxes," said Mr Ward, writing in 'About Banking'.
"If we can decrease personal tax, we will see an influx of talent into the country,'' he said.
Mr Ward said the federation had witnessed the departure of specialised staff from their Irish bases for taxation reasons.
"Quite often, the main reason for this is the lack of competitiveness in Ireland's personal tax structure.
"Anecdotal evidence suggests that when net income is the same or lower in Ireland by comparison with locations such as London or New York, the preference of high earning, highly specialised people is not to choose Ireland as their country of residence," he said.
Mr Ward said the IFSC in particular had other advantages that were attracting staff.
"We have access to technology and our professional service firms are as good as anywhere in the world," he said.
He said that it was one thing to get big foreign banks to come here, but was far harder to get individuals to locate here.
"The licensed foreign banks that are here already bought into Ireland as a great location in which to do business, but unfortunately not all the key players within those organisations see the benefits to them as individuals to locate here," he said.