Monday, July 21, 2008


Some comments in the FT about Dublin as a financial center.
Dublin has effectively come from nowhere to become a strong challenger to Luxembourg as Europe’s biggest asset servicing centre. It has done this by becoming the home of choice for many Ucits funds, Europe’s leading domicile for money market funds and the largest administration centre for exchange traded funds in Europe. According to the Global Financial Centre’s Index published by the City of London, Dublin is the world’s 13th best financial centre and 10th for fund management

So how has this been achieved in the 21 years of the IFSC’s existence? A number of positive factors have fuelled Dublin’s growth, notably Ireland’s position as a member of both the European Union and the eurozone, its use of English, the strong supply of well-educated graduates (at least until recently) and the country’s legal framework.

However, regulation and tax were probably more critical to the IFSC’s success than anything. The financial regulator, the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, is seen as combining robustness with responsiveness, and industry players welcome the efficiency of the regulatory approval process. The IFSRA can afford to be accommodating and attuned to innovations partly because of the lack of a significant indigenous fund management sector. Mr Slattery says: “Here in Ireland we understand the benefit of having an appropriately pitched regulatory regime.”

Low taxes have also played a big part in Dublin’s success. From the IFSC’s launch in 1987 until 2004-05, firms based there paid corporation tax at just 10 per cent. Although this has now risen to the standard 12.5 per cent, it still compares favourably with the 28 per cent levied in the UK and the EU average of 33 per cent

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