Firms located in Ireland provide Financial Services to every major economy in the world. International banks, investment managers, insurers, aircraft leasing operators and an array of other financial firms employ over 35,000 people and contribute €2bn each year in taxes.

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Educated Talent Pool

More than eight out of 10 of those employed in the sector have at least a bachelor’s degree. Most work in insurance, banking and fund management. However, there is also a large Financial Services sector supporting a multitude of operations in Ireland, ranging from lawyers and accountants to IT providers.

Regional Spread

While Dublin acts as the main hub, the Financial Services sector has many operations spread throughout Ireland from Letterkenny to Cork, Galway to Kilkenny and Limerick to Waterford.

Robust Regulation

The Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority (IFSRA) is the regulator of all Financial Services firms in Ireland. It is a distinct component of the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland.

Strong Skills Base

The Summit Finuas Network is focused on maintaining Ireland’s position as a top international Financial Services centre through ongoing investment in the development of the necessary skills and expertise. The network is led by a steering group, which includes member companies and financial services industry associations.


Dublin is the main centre of Ireland’s Financial Services sector, where activity is focused around the Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC). Established in 1987 by the Irish Government, the IFSC houses some of the world’s premier Financial Services institutions. A sophisticated support network including accountancy, legal actuarial, taxation, regulatory and telecommunications has grown up around it.

Vibrant Centre

The IFSC is an integrated development offering world-class office accommodation, executive housing and restaurants, plus excellent shopping facilities. The development has expanded beyond its original site and has become a vital part of the wider Irish economy.

The Heart of Education

The National College of Ireland is located in the IFSC providing further education on-site to the financial professionals who work there.

Aviation Leasing

The industry in Ireland currently employs more than 1,200 people both directly through the leasing companies, and indirectly through legal, tax, audit and other professional services linked directly with the industry.


Irish lessors manage more than €100 billion in assets
- This equates to approx. 22% of the global fleet of aircraft and over 40% of the world’s fleet of leased aircraft.

Ireland has 14 of the top 15 lessors by fleet size;

Activities spanning the industry value chain, including sales and re-marketing, asset management, technical services and oversight, securitization, accounting and legal.


Ireland has a strong reputation and is a leading centre for aircraft leasing and finance, due to:
- Track record dating back to Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) in the 1970s
- Deep, multi-disciplinary (technical, legal, financial) talent pool
- Favourable corporate tax regime with an extensive Taxation Treaty network.

Summary of Ireland’s Key Economic Attractions

- 12.5% corporate tax and Government commitment to sustain this rate
- 0% VAT on international aircraft leasing
- Availability of over 72 double taxation agreements
- On-shore location (member of the EU and OECD)
- Tax depreciation (Capital Allowances) for the cost of equipment and plant & machinery (which includes aircraft and aircraft engines) over 8 years
- Extensive range of exemptions provided for from withholding tax on interest and dividend payments and no withholding taxes on lease rentals
- No stamp duty on instruments transferring aircraft
- Irish Economic Recovery – increasing attractiveness of Ireland as a location for FDI

Industry News

In 2014, AerCap acquired ILFC from AIG. AerCap paid AIG $3 billion in cash as well as a significant ownership position in AerCap's ordinary share capital. The acquisition brings AerCap’s fleet to over 1,300 aircraft, with a further 400 on order, making it the largest independent lessor in the world, and the second largest lessor in the world after GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). AerCap chose Ireland as its global operations headquarters and now has two offices (Shannon & Dublin) with over 120 staff in Ireland.

In 2012, a consortium led by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) established its global aviation business headquarters in Ireland (SMBC Aviation Capital) via the acquisition of RBS Aviation in a deal worth more than $7 billion.

CONTACT the IDA Ireland Financial Services team

  • Kieran Donoghue

    Financial Services