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Sunday, 14th April 2024
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Conference a success Back  
Over 260 delegates attended the recent Finance Dublin conference, which featured keynote speeches by the Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy, Michael Noonan, leader of Fine Gael and John Hurley in of his first speaking engagements as new Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland.
Opening the conference McCreevy said, ‘The task ahead is to build on our comparative advantage in international financial services because this is a sector where we can compete and win, and where there are opportunities in the EU and beyond.’ This premise was futher developed over the two days by other speakers such as Pat Wall, partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers who said that Ireland can stand to benefit from the OECD crack-down on tax havens as investors will ‘fly to quality’ and avail of Ireland’s tax transparency and exchange of information rules.
In DePfa Bank’s case study, the bank made clear its reasons for moving its headquarters from Frankfurt to Dublin, which went further than just fiscal considerations.
In the morning roundtable, Gary Palmer, chief executive of DFIA and Eamonn O’Brien, chairman of the Taoiseach’s Clearing House Group, said that the accessibility of regulators to date has been a vital part of business development and is the reason why businesses are still coming here. O’Brien stated that it was vital that with the introduction of IFSRA this shouldn’t change.
Also speaking about the new single regulator was Paul Carroll, managing partner of A&L Goodbody, who urged those engaged in financial services to grasp and understand what new developments such as IFSRA may mean and to also plan how to respond. He compared the new regulator to a referee and said that it won’t create extra layers of regulation but rather will be a ‘one-stop shop regulator’ operating under the aegis of the Central Bank. Carroll also encouraged lobbying on the Government’s white paper on regulation, as the deadline to get your views heard is 5pm on May 31st.
In his speech on advertent & inadvertent barriers to free trade in financial services, Willie Slattery, chief executive of Deutsche International, said that while the Lamfalussy report was a very worthwhile process, he thinks that it will ultimately fail. Although the European Parliament and Council have agreed to adopt the Lamfalussy proposals, the recent Barcelona Summit proves otherwise says Slattery. Of the seven Directives that the Council said would be adopted in 2002, hardly any of these were in the Lamfalussy report. Another problem Slattery sees is that governments and countries are continuing to pursue their own interests over those of the European community.

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