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Milestones of the IFSC Back  
October 1986 - International treasury consultant, Han Zuurdeeg, working for GE Information Services Company (GEISCO), the subsidiary of General Electric Corporation (USA), presents a report to the IDA on Ireland as an international treasury centre.
‘Just across the road from us here there once stood the cabman’s shelter where, Joyce tell us, Leopold Bloom had a cup of coffee late one June night with his young friend Stephen Dedalus. Mr Bloom too had a plan to regenerate his beloved Dublin and I can hardly do better on this occasion than finish with his stirring words describing his plan. ‘My beloved subjects, a new era is about to dawn. I, Bloom, tell you verily it is even now at hand. Yea, on the word of a Bloom ye shall ere long enter into the gold city which is to be the new Bloomusalem in the Nova Hibernia of the future.’

Taoiseach, Charles Haughey,
launching the planning scheme for the Custom House Docks, June 1987.

October 1986 - International treasury consultant, Han Zuurdeeg, working for GE Information Services Company (GEISCO), the subsidiary of General Electric Corporation (USA), presents a report to the IDA on Ireland as an international treasury centre.

November 1986 - Custom House Docks Development Authority established.

April 1987 - First meeting of Taoiseach’s Committee on the IFSC

June 1987 - ‘The Dublin financial centre is the outcome of years of talk and failed efforts in making Ireland a centre for international banking and finance. The idea was first mooted in the minds of a few Irish bankers as long ago as the late 1960s, but never moved much beyond the ideas stage. The Industrial Development Authority did launch a half-hearted campaign to talk to international banks about setting up for offshore deposits in the 1970s...One of the key movers in the current push to develop an international financial centre in Dublin was Dermot Desmond, one of Dublin’s main stockbrokers. Two years ago, his company financed 50 per cent of a study on the potentials by Price Waterhouse’s international management consultancy division… On assuming power earlier this year one of Mr Haughey’s first actions was the setting up of an action committee to put the Price Waterhouse/Fianna Fail proposals into action.’ Finance Magazine

July 1987 - The 1987 Finance Act establishing the 10 per cent rate passed.

July 1987 - ‘A city within a city, to be fully functioning within five years from now, is the scenario sketched out by the Custom House Docks Authority in its glossily produced planning brief for the international design and planning groups. Finance Magazine

September 1987 - Gandon and Wang become the first companies to apply for IFSC licences.

September 1987 - ‘THE ISLE OF MAN is a financial centre, just forty minutes by plane from Dublin, that has been warily watching developments over the last few months in relation to the promotion of Dublin as another competing financial centre in the British Isles. As for now, however, the Dublin move is regarded sceptically by the Manx, who are still strongly promoting the island as a financial centre. Says Bill Murray, the island’s officer in charge of commercial development ‘setting up a financial centre in Dublin is like Bradford setting up as a financial centre. Bradford in its case would be better sticking to woollens; Dublin would be better building on its own resources, which do not particularly include financial services.’ Finance Magazine

October 1987 - Winning design for Custom House Docks selected.

November 1987 - ‘Two weeks after the fallout from ‘Black Monday,’ the Custom House Dock Development was unveiled, the successful candidates for development being a consortium equally owned by British Land plc, and Irish companies, Hardwicke Ltd and Mclnerney. At the announcement the chairman of the consortium Mark Kavanagh referred to the events of the previous two weeks, and declared himself confident that the project would not he diminished. ‘Despite the setbacks in the financial markets I have no doubt whatever that it will he an enormous commercial success.’ Gandon awarded the first IFSC license. Finance Magazine
December 1987 - 18 projects received approval by the IDA to go forward to the Certification Committee of the Department of Finance for licences and IDA says it is in serious discussion for 50 others. Some of the companies are: Allied Irish Bank and the Bank of Ireland, KBFSI (linked with Kredietbank), DIFS (linked with British & Commonwealth Holdings), and the latest, from Goodbody James Capel.

January 1988 - Work on first building begins

March 1988 - IDA holds first IFSC marketing seminar in London. Gandon Securities Ltd, a new Irish company backed by 28 major domestic and foreign institutions which will trade in financial instruments, and KB Financial Services (Ireland) Ltd, a subsidiary of Kredietbank NV of Belgium are established.

May 1988 - The ESB announces that it would be setting up the first Irish-based corporate treasury facility in the Centre.

November 1988 - Central Bank begins publishing draft legislation to establish a regulatory framework for financial services.

December 1988 - Dresdner Bank applied for its license in December of 1988, which was granted in February 1989. After Dresdner had applied for its license, the marketing of rhe IFSC in Germany suddenly gathered speed. Dresdner's official opening was in July 1989.

Finance Magazine December 1988 - ‘A financial services bill it is not, but a broad regulatory frame work to reflect modern financial sector developments it is.’

1989 - The AIG American Equity Trust becomes the first UCITS fund to be established in Ireland, and the first fund to be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

March 1989 - The IDA has its biggest marketing exercise for the IFSC to date - a New York roadshow. Over 55 companies are granted IFSC licences, and Prime Minister Albert Reynolds announces a further project from Chase Bank.

June 1989 - The UCITS directive comes into effect in Ireland. The Finance Act of 1989 grants UCITS funds a tax exemption from corporation tax, capital gains tax, withholding tax and other taxes laying the foundations for the industry to grow.

March 1990 - AIB International Centre completed.

September 1990 - More major companies announce IFSC operations. Among them: Credit Lyonnais; Morgan Grenfell (Ireland) Ltd; Global Asset Management Ltd; Unison Management Dublin (Ltd); Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank have already announced IFSC operations.

April 1991 - La Touche House completed.

June 1991 - Fintel Publications, prepares the first Directory of the IFSC, listing 152 companies: 98 are ‘standalone’ operations, while 32 are jointly licensed with units from the same parent. The remaining 22 are ‘agency’ companies. IFSC House completed.

September 1991 - German budget proposes to change the German tax laws with a view to eliminating the loss of tax revenue from German companies operating in the IFSC.

1992 - ‘Gross roll-up’ tax system introduced for life assurance sector

June 1992 - Government negotiates permission from Brussels to extend tax regime to 2005. The Third Insurance Directive passed into Irish law.

November 1992 - Third Non-life Directive incorporated into Irish law.

December 1992 - Rothschilds, first IFSC life insurance company set up; Government passes law which allows the Minister for Finance to increase tax of IFSC companies to above 10 per cent to avoid triggering CFC legislation. Second EU Banking Directive incorporated into Irish law, allows for cross-border banking.


December 1992 - ‘Ireland, as a late entrant into the international financial services environment, has been somewhat naive perhaps in offering a low rate of tax, which has attracted much international attention although at the same time, it has maintained the integrity of its tax base. Other jurisdictions, while maintaining their relatively high nominal rates of corporation tax, have been more flexible with their tax bases, thus offering even lower effective rates than are available in Ireland.’ Finance Magazine

December 1993 - Work begins on the Dublin exchange facility, as FINEX commits to opening a facility which begins operation in June 1994.

November 1994 - More than 600 IFSC licences issued. ‘As of this month, Finance calculations put the number of ‘standalone’ IFSC enterprises at over 270. In addition, there are almost 100 captive insurance companies (operated by captive insurance managers), plus over 100 agency treasury centres (operated by IFSC enterprises).’

November 1994 - ‘Other statistics confirm the growth of the centre. IFSC companies contributed tax revenues totalling £135 million, (14 per cent of the Irish corporate tax take) in 1993. This year, tax revenues are forecast by the Department of Finance to exceed £200 million, rising to close on 20 per cent of the total corporation tax yield. The total net asset value of collective investment funds under management rose to 14 billion, by June 1994 (latest Central Bank figures), with non IFSC funds totalling 3.5 billion.’ Finance Magazine

December 1994 - Five-year extension on 10 per cent tax rate to year 2005.

January 1996 - Finance Dublin, a monthly newsletter covering the IFSC, is launched. Numbers employed in IFSC jump by 500 to 2,700 in 1996 according to survey conducted by IDA.

December 1996 - A milestone in Irish banking history is achieved as total assets of international banks exceed those of the Irish domestic sector

February 1997 - 4th edition of the Finance Yearbook of the IFSC launched, citing 1000 tax certificates issued as of mid-1996. The directory lists 330 entries and says there are 333 agency treasury centres and captive insurance and reinsurance companies.

May 1997 - Dublin Docklands Development Authority established.

July 1997 - Ireland-US tax treaty signed. Hailed as an historic milestone in Irish tax history.

Feb 1998 - 5th edition of the Finance Dublin Yearbook shows IFSC corporate community growth of 15 per cent in 1997, including 35 new standalone companies.

April 1998 - Europlus Research and Management becomes the IFSC’s largest asset manager, bringing £30 billion and 80 staff to the centre. Key to the decision to establish Europlus in Dublin is Franco Schepes, managing director of UniCredito Italiano Bank (Ireland) plc. Europlus triples in size in 2000 when parent company Unicredito Italiano buys the Pioneer Group, to form Pioneer Investments.

June 1998 - New futures exchange to be housed at the Dublin Exchange Facility - The New York Stock Exchange Composite Index Futures Contract.

July 1998 - The Irish Government and the EU reach agreement on the introduction of the new 12.5 per cent Irish Corporation Tax regime.

February 1999 - Proposed dividend withholding tax of 24 per cent is introduced in the Finance Bill.

December 1999 - The Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) is formally established with the aim of promoting Irish-based shipping and shipping services. At the last Certification Advisory Committee meeting the final five stand-alone IFSC licenses were given out to two banking operations, two funds companies and one insurance company.

March 2000 - Speaking at the launch of the Progress Report on the strategy of the IFSC, Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern said that ‘the strategy is working - creating new jobs, attracting new business and stimulating urban renewal’ but qualified this by outlining the challenges which still needed to be addressed, namely staff and accommodation concerns and the enhancement of regulatory, company law and taxation mechanisms.

November 2000 - IFSC banks come away from the ‘look-back’ tax audit of DIRT liabilities with zero or negligible tax liabilities.

February 2001 - Plans to establish the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority (IFSRA) are announced.

March 2001 - European financial services regulation is extended with the adoption by the EU of the Lamfalussy Report.

June 2001 - UCITS II and I adopted at ECOFIN Council meeting. The DDDA reveal plans for the Stack A warehouse.

July 2001 - Asset Covered Securities Act, 2001 is published, which allows for the creation of a new market in covered bonds.

October 2001 - International banks form FIBI, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland.


February 2002 - UCITS III Directive published.

March 2002 - The Asset Covered Securities Act 2001, which allows for the introduction of covered bonds in the Irish market, is signed into law.

April 2002 - The Central Bank of Ireland Financial Services Authority (No.1) Bill, which allows for the establishment of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority (IFSRA), is published.

October 2002 - Deutsche Bank/DB Ireland closes and Deutsche International is sold to State Street.

December 2002 - Ireland becomes the first European jurisdiction to allow the authorisation of retail fund of hedge funds. Dublin registered funds grew by 15 per cent in 2002, breaking the •300 billion barrier for the first time. The total number of Irish collective investment schemes is 3300.

January 2003 - Introduction of 12.5 per cent corporation tax rate. The IFSC Clearing House Group restructuring is completed.

February 2003 - The first Asset Covered Security is launched by DEPFA Bank in a E5 billion issue.

March 2003 - The Finance Bill 2003 is signed into Irish law. It includes a revision of Section 110 and the introduction of pension pooling vehicles.

April 2003 - Assets of IFSC banks stand at E196.6 billion.

May 2003 - The Finance Dublin Yearbook 2003 is launched and finds that over 1,000 new jobs will be created in IFSC and other international financial services companies in 2003. Dresdner Bank confirms that it is to close its Irish IFSC operation, Dresdner Bank (Ireland) plc (DBIrl). HVB group announces that it is to headquarter an independent international real estate finance bank, Hypo Real Estate Bank International, in Dublin.

June 2003 - IFSC yields E700 million in tax in 2002 - a Parliamentary Question proposed by Finance Dublin reveals.

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