Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Finance

Financial Services

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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138. To ask the Minister for Finance his views on the impact of a new forum (details supplied) on the Irish financial services sector. [62105/21]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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'Technology and innovation' is an important part of the whole-of-government strategy for the international financial services sector. This key strategy, known as the Ireland for Finance Strategy is a multi-year strategy with published annual action plans which monitor progress and highlight specific goals for the coming year. By way of background, the use of innovative technology to deliver financial services is also known as 'fintech' (a combination of the words 'financial' and 'technology') and the use of innovative technology to deliver certain sectoral financial services like insurance is know as 'insurtech'.

Insurance Ireland have led on actions in successive Action Plans under the Ireland for Finance strategy to develop an insurtech hub in Ireland and considerable progress has been made on this initiative in 2021.

Insurance Ireland commissioned a study to assess feasibility and benchmark against international best practice and this study was completed in April 2021. Insurance Ireland have since developed a comprehensive Insurtech Strategy and have set up the InsTech.ie hub to bring this strategy forward.

I understand that the objectives of creating this hub include:

- facilitating connections for members

- developing a database of local and international exemplars

- pairing firms with curated Start-ups

- events – access global best practice

- promoting Ireland as an Innovation hub

- preparing talent / skills for the future

- collaborating with policymakers on innovation.

The Insurance Ireland Working Group reached out to external bodies and members to assess the appetite to become part of the group and 12 founding members have joined forces to promote the country as an EU hub for the growing insurtech industry.

Instech.ie was officially launched by the 12 founding members in July 2021 and in November of this year, they appointed a CEO of Instech.ie.

Finally, Minister of State Fleming and departmental officials have also engaged with a range of other stakeholders across the insurtech sector to review the potential impact on competition and availability of insurance, and will continue to monitor developments in this space as they occur. Work is at an early stage but we will continue to be active in relation to this matter.


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