International Financial Services

Image of IFS2020 logo

The Department of Finance, through its IFS2020 Unit, provides a coordinating role in the implementation of IFS2020, the Government’s five-year strategy for the International Financial Services (IFS) sector. Further information on the Strategy can be found below:





International Financial Services (IFS) in Ireland

Ireland’s IFS sector has grown from a standing start in the 1980’s to a very strong position today. There are now more than 400 companies employing over 40,000 people directly in IFS, including more than 200 Irish-owned companies. Approximately one-third of those employed in the IFS sector work outside the Greater Dublin area in regional locations like Kerry, Cork, Donegal, Kilkenny, Louth, Waterford and Wexford. Continued promotion of jobs in both Dublin and the regions is a key part of the Government’s IFS Strategy.

Financial Services Industry in Ireland 2017


IFS2020 strategy – A Strategy for Ireland’s International Financial Services Sector 2015 – 2020

In March 2015, the Irish Government launched IFS2020, a five-year strategy for the IFS sector in Ireland. The Strategy aims to create 10,000 net new jobs in the sector by 2020. IFS2020 is a ‘whole-of-Government’ approach to driving the growth and the development of Internatioal Financial Services in Ireland. It builds on our strength in talent, technology, innovation and excellent client services, while focusing on capturing new opportunities in a changing marketplace and embracing the highest standards of governance.

In June 2017, the Taoiseach appointed Michael D’Arcy TD as Minister of State for Financial Services at the Department of Finance. Minister of State D’Arcy will progress the work previously carried out by former Minister of State Eoghan Murphy, in conjunction with stakeholders across the public and private sectors.

IFS2020 is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, a key strategy to create favorable conditions for job creation in Ireland. The IFS2020 employment target of 10,000 net new jobs is part of the Government’s overall objective to restore the economy to full employment. Employment in the IFS sector increased by 13% during 2015 and 2016, bringing the numbers of people directly employed in IFS at end-2016 to approximately 40,000, and keeping the Strategy firmly on track to reach its growth target of 10,000 net new jobs by the end of 2019.



The IFS2020 Strategy is divided into five key strategic priorities:

Image of IFS2020 Strategic Goals logo



IFS Ireland Banner Brand

image of IFS Ireland logo

IFS Ireland is the banner brand for Ireland’s IFS industry. Launched at the European Financial Forum in January 2016, the banner brand is a shared identity which all IFS stakeholders – Government and industry bodies – use to promote Ireland on the international stage. Further information is available on the IFS Ireland website






IFS2020 Action Plans

IFS2020 provides for annual action plans, which are developed by the IFS2020 public sector High Level Implementation Committee and agreed by Government. Progress with implementation is monitored regularly, and published on a quarterly basis (see below).

The current action plan for 2017 is available here: IFS2020 Action Plan 2017

Further information on the IFS2020 Action Plan 2017 is available here.


European Financial Forum

The second annual European Financial Forum (EFF) took place on Tuesday, January 24th 2017 in Dublin Castle. EFF 2017  brought together international and Irish industry leaders, policy makers, regulators and subject matter experts to explore the various forces – political, social, economic and technological that are shaping the global financial services industry. Further information on the event is available here.

The European Financial Forum 2018 will take place on January 31st 2018 in Dublin Castle. Further information available here.


IFS2020 Implementation Structures

Implementation of the Strategy and the annual Action Plan is driven by a public sector High Level Implementation Committee (HLIC). The HLIC meets on a quarterly basis as a standalone committee. It also meets as the IFS2020 Joint Committee on a quarterly basis with the Industry Advisory Committee (IAC). The IAC is composed of representatives of leading Irish and international IFS companies from a broad range of financial services sub-sectors with diverse experience and perspectives. The term of reference of the committees are published below.

The public sector HLIC reports quarterly on progress. This reflects the importance of the International Financial Services sector to the Irish economy and the priority placed by Government on its growth and development.  The quarterly progress reports are also published below.

Current HLIC Membership

  • Michael D’Arcy T.D., Chairperson, Minister of State for Financial Services, at the Department of Finance
  • Martin Fraser, Secretary General, Department of the Taoiseach
  • Ann Nolan, Second Secretary, Department of Finance
  • Robert Watt, Secretary General, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
  • Dr Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
  • Niall Burgess, Second Secretary General, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General, Department of Education and Skills
  • Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA
  • Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland


Current IAC Membership

  • Carin Bryans, JP Morgan
  • David Dalton, Deloitte
  • Brian Daly, KPMG
  • Susan Dargan, State Street
  • Geraldine Gibson, AQ Metrics
  • John Higgins, Avolon
  • Peter Keegan, BAML
  • Paul Kerley, Fenergo
  • Michael Mainelli, International member
  • Patrick Manley, Zurich
  • Ruth McCarthy, Fexco
  • Barry O’Dwyer, Blackrock
  • Secretariat (Irish Funds)
  • A representative of the Central Bank attends IFS2020 joint Committee meetings in an observer capacity


Public Sector High Level Implementation Committee (HILC) minutes

The HLIC meets on a quarterly basis. The first meeting took place on 24th June 2015. Minutes of all HLIC meetings are published.


IFS 2020 Joint Committee (HLIC & IAC) minutes

The IFS2020 Joint Committee meets on a quarterly basis. The first meeting took place on 24th June 2015. Minutes of all Joint Committee meetings are published.


IFS2020 Strategic Plan and Action Plans 


IFS2020 Committees – Terms of Reference


IFS2020 Progress Reports


Archive – IFS Clearing House Group (to 2014)

In 2015, with the establishment of the new IFS2020 implementation arrangements, the IFSC Clearing House Group was discontinued. Minutes of previous meetings of the IFSC Clearing House Group are available on the archive section on Department of the Taoiseach’s website.

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