Written answers

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Department of Finance

Financial Services Sector

Photo of Eoghan MurphyEoghan Murphy (Dublin Bay South, Fine Gael)
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133. To ask the Minister for Finance the status of his strategy to bolster Ireland's offering as a financial technology destination both in terms of supporting indigenous companies and attracting global investment. [17084/21]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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In January, the Government approved the latest Action Plan 2021 ‘Building on Resilience’ under the Ireland for Financestrategy. Minister of State, Sean Fleming TD, has devoted much of his time to overseeing of the Ireland for Financestrategy (which is one of the areas that he has a special responsibility) and its implementation via annual action plans.

In this context, it is important to note that one of the Minister of State's priorities for 2021 is digital finance (financial technology or 'fintech').

The Action Plan is a key instrument for delivering on the international financial services offering, and it is supported by commitments made by industry, central government departments and enterprise agencies (Enterprise Ireland and IDA).

This collaboration between our industry stakeholders and the public sector is key to preparing a balanced and effective suite of action measures.

One of those actions, for example, the Fintech Foresight Group, led by the private sector, will develop proposals to establish better collaboration between 'big tech' in the Grand Canal Innovation District area, tertiary education, new start-ups and venture capital firms.

A new fintech group has also been recently established in the Department and in line with this year's commitments under the Action Plan, seeks to coordinate policy across sub-sectors and collaborate with stakeholders in this area.

Additionally, IDA and EI will continue their successful record of accomplishment in attracting FDIs and export of financial services via numerous policy platforms and promotional activities.

My Department has been actively involved in the work of the recent EU Digital Finance Package. This package contains proposals regarding the innovative use of technology in finance, whilst maintaining a level playing field, access to data, financial inclusion and ethical use of data. For example, the EU legislative proposal on Digital Operational Resilience and proposal on Crypto-Assets aim to mitigate risks for investors while ensuring financial stability. Developments in this area will ensure that the EU legislation, which will become the operating environment in Ireland in due course, is based on the principle of‘same activity, same risk, same rules’and as such is technology neutral, and fit for the digital age.

As digital finance accelerates cross borders operations, it also has the potential to enhance financial market integration in the Banking Union and the Capital Markets Union, and thereby to strengthen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union.


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