Dublin, Wednesday, 13th February 2019 – An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, today opened the European Financial Forum at Dublin Castle marking the fourth year of the Forum bringing together leaders from banking, aircraft leasing, insurance, fintech and investment and asset management to discuss the pressing issues surrounding European finance and to explore the disruptive forces that are shaping the financial sector.

Keynote speakers joining the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD, include Philip Lane, Governor, Central Bank of Ireland and Member, Governing Council, European Central Bank (ECB); Michael L. Corbat, Chief Executive Officer; Citigroup; Anne M. Finucane, Vice Chairman, Bank of America;  Ronald P. O'Hanley, President and Chief Executive Officer, State Street Corporation;  Liu Liange, Vice Chairman and President, Bank of China; Steven Maijoor, Chair, European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and more.

The event which is presented by the Financial Times in partnership with IDA Ireland provides an opportunity for IDA Ireland to engage with potential and existing clients in the international financial services sector. 

The Forum brings together international and Irish industry executives, policy makers, regulators and thought leaders to provide cutting edge analysis on the main business and regulatory issues that the financial services industry should consider in 2019 and beyond.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Ireland is open to investment, to capital, to trade, to talent and to creativity. Our philosophy is to be a leader when it comes to emerging economic, social and technological developments. At a time when attitudes to globalisation, free trade and multilateralism are hardening in much of the world, Ireland is holding firm to liberal political and economic values and policies.

“Today, we already have 430 international financial services firms here and we are ambitious for more. We take pride in the impressive growth of our international financial services sector over the last 30 years.  Back then it was 60 staff in Dublin, now it is almost 44,000 people spread around the country.

“We are 1,000 people away from the ambitious target we set in our IFS2020 Strategy for people working in the international financial services sector and we will meet it ahead of schedule.  We have succeeded in creating the right kind of environment to help our indigenous financial services companies grow and expand while at the same time attracting high quality FDI, and we are very ambitious for the future. The fourth annual European Financial Forum provides a worthwhile opportunity to discuss emerging trends and build on our successes.”

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said “Ireland has transformed itself in recent decades into a leading destination for international financial services.  It is important that Government, Regulators, and industry continue to adapt to the ever-changing environment and I’m pleased to see the calibre of speakers and topics at the Forum today.”

Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance Michael D’Arcy TD said “The EFF showcases the flexible and competitive talent pool and cutting-edge offering that Ireland provides for firms seeking to develop and grow their business.  The Government's priorities for Financial Services aim to ensure that we can be a global leader in areas such as FinTech and Sustainable Finance while maintaining our competitiveness in specialised sectors such as Aviation Financing and Funds Management for which Ireland is a key European location of choice”.  

Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive of IDA Ireland said “The Financial Services ecosystem in Ireland has developed an enviable global reputation as a recognised location for a wide range of international Banking activities. With more than 80 leading global banks, including 20 of the world’s top 25 Financial Service Companies based here.  The European Financial Forum is a key platform for industry leaders to discuss and debate how they see the industry transforming and how they adapt to these challenges.”

Information on the speakers and theme of the Forum are available at: