In the latest issue of Finance Dublin we feature the views of the newly incumbent Lord Mayor of the City of London Michael Mainelli who visited Dublin in a whirlwind series of meetings, including with the Taoiseach for an hour at the end of January, and in an interview in the issue he makes very clear that London will offer an open door to Dublin and its businesses as a financial centre - as a partner to the City's necessary new post-Brexit focus on a truly global role.
Also starting the year on the front foot are the Department of Finance who made their final pitch to secure for Ireland the HQ of AMLA, the proposed headquarters of the European Union's Anti Money laundering Authority. While the jury will be out on the siting for it until a scheduled decision on February 22nd, the mood music seems to be good as to the prospects of it coming to Ireland.
The latest issue has an assessment of the incoming (on December 29th) IAF legislation's constitutionality and vulnerability to legal challenge by the Vice Chair of the Financial Services Bar Association, John Freeman BL. This is part of the issue's overall cover feature, and it appears alongside Central Bank Deputy Governor Derville Rowland's reassurances on the Bank's intentions to be proportional and mindful of the potential the IAF will have to improve financial regulation in Ireland. These articles along with new expert adviser assessments, build on the various IAF features in the October and November issues in particular.
Elsewhere in the issue, the Finance Dublin Funds Monitor assesses the revamped ELTIF regime, coming into effect in early January and seen as a major growth opportunity for the Irish funds industry as we move into 2024. The proposals around loan origination funds (which was also a topic of discussion at Irish Funds' recent 10th Annual Symposium in London), contained in AIFMD II, also feature as does the IAF/SEAR, with a funds industry perspective provided.
With the Central Bank releasing its final guidance on the Individual Accountability Framework financial services industry legal advisers comment on the regime as it is set for coming into effect from December 29th next. While a number of changes have been welcomed, industry concerns persist about the new powers with advisers pointing out that they still fall short of allaying uncertainties about the implementation of the regime.
The race to host the soon-to-be established EU Anti Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) also features in the issue with Ireland's credentials being backed by a strong bid from the Government, with Dublin topping a poll of global anti-crime professionals as their recommended best location for the AMLA HQ. The Government had no hesitation in doubling down on its position regarding the Apple tax case once the AG from the European Court of Justice published his surprise decision to refer it back down to the lower court that decided initially in Ireland's favour. Analysis of the factors behind this important and landmark case, one that will be central to Ireland's international tax identity as an EU member state is in the November issue.
Elsewhere in the issue there are a number of developments that can fuel positive expectations about the consolidation of IFS business in Ireland. These include the green light from the Central Bank of a full fledged regulatory Sandbox, of similar features to those in other jurisdictions. It will add to the 'Innovation Hub' that the CBI has operated since 2018, and which received 375 engagements from project developers. Also, looking at developments north of the Irish border, Jenny Santiago Young, Regional Director for Ireland of UK Government Agency Invest Northern Ireland, highlights the unique strengths of the sector in NI, and which should be seen as complementing businesses in the Republic.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Gabriel Makhlouf has announced changes to the roll out of the Individual Accountability Framework giving the Regulator, and industry, more time to resolve a number of issues around how the new rules will affect non-executive directors. The announcement was made at the CBI's annual Financial System Conference on 8th October at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
"We have decided to defer the application [of the IAF] to INEDs/NEDs by one year to enable both the Central Bank and regulated firms to learn from the introduction of the new framework to executives in the first instance as well as how we will use the framework to inform our supervision. In particular, a twelve month learning period should enable firms to better manage the issues some have identified in reconciling the collective responsibility of boards with the new individual accountability regime." He reiterated the CBI will remain 'proportionate, predictable, transparent and agile' in its regulatory approach echoing Deputy Governor Donnery's words in the October issue of Finance Dublin.
Industry leaders raised a number of serious concerns about the implementation of IAF in the October issue of Finance Dublin including the problems the framework could cause for company boards and individual non executive directors. Their articles can be seen here.
The October issue of Finance Dublin contains a series of articles by the heads of leading representative bodies in the financial services industry and company directors' institutes about the most important set of reforms of the regulation of the industry since the Great Financial Crisis - the Individual Accountability Framework (IAF). They paint a picture of continuing unease about the framework, manifested by calls for more time to assess the potential consequences of IAF/SEAR, for examination of possibilities for reform, and proportionality and sensitivity to good business models and practice in the implementation.
Regulation was cited as one of the reasons behind an erosion of Ireland's attractiveness as a hub for international insurance in an Insurance Ireland-commissioned report by Milliman, presented at the 2023 European Insurance Forum. The broader cost of doing business and talent shortages were also identified to help invigorate Ireland's cross-border insurance industry.
The dangers in the delay of revamping aspects of Ireland's corporate tax regime feature with The Irish Tax Institute President Tom Reynolds expressing disappointment that reforms are postponed to 2025. (This is commented upon also by BDO's Angela Fleming in the Irish Tax Monitor) who says that the introduction of territorial tax elements to the Irish regime has been decoupled from the introduction of BEPS rules, also to be implemented in this year's Finance Bill.
The Finance Dublin Annual Accountancy Survey 2023 shows a year of strong fee income growth amongst Ireland's leading firms and big changes at the top of the table. The figures for this year's survey, listing figures for latest year ends ending in 2022 and 2023, show aggregate Republic of Ireland fee income growth of 17% for 2022-3 for the top 20 firms in total with all of the Big Four firms switching places in terms of their size and growth rankings at the top.
Vigilance as to maintaining a competitive environment for the Irish economy must remain to the fore in areas that include tax policy, and financial services regulation, a topic that receives a timely reminder in an article by Fernando Vicario, chairman of the Federation of International Banks in Ireland, and country head for Ireland of Bank of America, and the subject of the cover feature in the forthcoming issue of Finance Dublin.
Working within global frameworks, and playing on global playing fields is a good place to build excellence, and the perspectives of Irish Stock Exchange executives Daryl Byrne and Nigel Jones in a wide ranging interview in this issue provide a valuable perspective on the evolution of the Exchange as a platform of publicly quoted securities, not just for large international plcs, but for publicly traded assets of all kinds.
The 2023 edition of the Finance Dublin Yearbook, the annual print & E paper snapshot of Ireland's financial services centre - including the world's 3rd largest funds centre, the 6th largest financial services exporter, and with our updates of the significant developments in the profiles of the top 500+ financial services companies and institutions in Ireland.
The Yearbook's 2023 Review & Outlook provides an overview of the 'state of the centre' - reflecting a year of exceptional progress as IFS industry in the jurisdiction of Ireland deepened and strengthened, despite the headwinds caused by monetary tightening in global financial markets. This is covered in a series of analytical articles in the publication, featured here.
The Yearbook contains the 2023 Finance Dublin Yearbook's Professional Services Guide, with its Who's Who of advisers and practitioners in the jurisdiction.
The full E-Paper edition can be accessed by subscribers HERE.