British Irish Chamber #Agenda2018 – Financial Services Post-Brexit


26th April 2018 – EU market access for UK financial services post-Brexit and Ireland’s position as a sectoral hub were the subjects for discussion by British and Irish politicians, regulators and business leaders at this morning’s #Agenda2018 Financial and Professional Services Seminar in London, sponsored by Ulster Bank and KPMG.

The theme of the #Agenda2018 event “International Financial Services in Ireland and the UK in a post-Brexit world’ is particularly timely given comments this week by European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis that equivalence is the most pragmatic solution to ensuring EU market access by UK financial services post-2019.

In his keynote address, the Minister for Financial Services and Insurance Michael D’Arcy TD outlined the Irish Government’s strategy for the development of the financial services sector. With only 337 days until the UK withdraws from the EU, Brexit fast-forwards the need to reflect on Ireland’s position as an international financial services hub and on harnessing the opportunities the UK’s exit to increase the size of the Fintech industry and broaden the range of financial services activities undertaken on this island.


Following the event, Minister D’Arcy said: “Although there are many challenges arising from the UK’s decision to leave the EU, we have already seen that there are opportunities for Ireland to grow our financial services sector. To ensure we maximise this growth, the Government developed the IFS2020 Strategy with a clear framework for strengthening our talent pool and harnessing the opportunities in emerging sub-sectors, such as Fintech. Today’s event marks an important occasion to take stock of our efforts and how the final Brexit deal will frame the future of the sector.”

The Minister’s address was followed by a keynote address by Catherine McGuinness, Chairman, Policy and Resources at the City of London Corporation who outlined the potential future market access framework for UK financial services post-Brexit. This was followed by a speech by Gerry Cross, Director of Policy and Risk at the Central Bank of Ireland who provided insight into the future regulatory framework for international financial services post-Brexit.

Following the keynote, a panel discussion took place with participants including Dominic Wade, Head of Brexit Response at RBS. Discussion revolved around the impact of Brexit on customers, increased competition from Fintech companies and the changes that will occur in the sector as a result of new innovations and automation.


Post event Eddie Cullen, Managing Director, Commercial Banking at Ulster Bank said: “We understand that our customers are facing many challenges arising from the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Events like today that bring businesses and experts together will prove crucial in helping companies minimise any adverse impact of Brexit while also providing a view of what opportunities may arise. As part of RBS, Ulster Bank is especially well placed to support customers planning for Brexit and we will continue to do so as they look to 2019 and beyond.”

Brian Daly, Chair of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce Financial and Professional Services Committee said: “Brexit negotiations to date have proven to be slow, difficulty and fraught with uncertainty. This is never more evident than in the financial services sector where future trading arrangements are as yet unclear.
“In this context, it is vital that policymakers and industry leaders on both sides of the Irish Sea reflect on and plan for the future. Our discussions in London today will provide Brexit negotiators with a framework for market access to EU-UK financial services and ensure Dublin and London continue to flourish as sectoral hubs in the years to come.”



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