Monday 19 February 2018

Dublin's financial reputation takes further beating

John Mulligan

THE fallout from Ireland's continuing domestic banking crisis is still damaging the global reputation of the international financial services sector in Dublin, with an influential new report seeing the capital slide four places in rankings that rate major financial centres.

The latest Global Financial Centre Index (GFCI) has ranked Ireland in joint 33rd place with Stockholm, placing it immediately behind other notable centres such as Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Dubai.

The decline by four positions on this year's rankings, which place London in the number one spot ahead of New York, Hong Kong and Singapore respectively, was one of the biggest slides among the cities surveyed, with capitals of crippled economies featuring heavily among the fallers, like Reykjavik, Athens and Bahrain.

The compilers of the GFCI said Dublin's reputation had been hit by the unstable domestic financial services landscape.

"Dublin continues its decline," noted the report. "Dublin's International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) is separate from the domestic banks and represents a distinct regulatory agenda for the EU and Irish regulator.


The trouble that the domestic banks find themselves in has, however, continued to damage Dublin's reputation."

The IFSC employs close to 33,000 people and 7.4pc of Ireland's gross domestic product is attributable to the centre, according to a report late last year by Accenture. But the GFCI survey said that while Dublin could be deemed a global diversified centre for financial services, it did not exhibit the depth in different activities to be considered a global leader.

Pat Farrell, the CEO of the Irish Banking Federation who's also chair of the IFSC Ireland steering committee, said that while the country couldn't be complacent about the results, Dublin remained a strong magnet for international firms. "The IFSC has shown tremendous resilience even in a period of turmoil."

Former Taoiseach John Bruton, the so-called IFSC 'czar', is tasked with helping to promote the IFSC internationally. As president of IFSC Ireland, he has been pushing the centre, which is home to operations for about 500 firms such as State Street and Citigroup.

"If we have a harder sell with the IFSC, because we are no longer offering people things we perhaps shouldn't have been offering in the first place, then so be it," he said last month in Berlin.

Irish Independent

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