Ireland, which has been a center for technology and financial services for decades, is now looking to establish itself as a fintech hub. The country's success in attracting the likes of Google, Apple, and international financial services firms is due to a combination of factors, including: a favorable tax regime, relatively low cost of doing business compared with elsewhere in the EU, proximity to London and the rest of Europe, English being the dominant language, and similarities between Irish and English law making it easy for firms to operate across the UK. Those factors will also work well in its favor as it looks to attract international fintechs to its shores, particularly in light of Brexit. Additionally, the existing tech and finance industries mean there is already highly skilled talent in the country, as well as a plethora of financial services firms looking to innovate. All told, we expect Ireland to firmly establish itself as a leading fintech hub in Europe over the next 12-24 months.
Ireland's Fintech Strengths
Willingness of large financial institutions (FIs) to engage with fintechs. Globally, FIs are working with fintechs in order to leverage their innovations, but large Irish FIs have been particularly active. For example, one of the four biggest Irish banks, Ulster Bank, is working with Dogpatch Labs, a Dublin based co-working space for tech and fintech startups. Not only is it looking to access fintechs through Dogpatch, it has also invested in the co-working space to help it expand and located its own off-site innovation team at Dogpatch Labs. Meanwhile, Bank of Ireland completed a proof of concept (POC) using blockchain technology with Deloitte back in early 2016, long before many other European institutions. Bank of Ireland has also opened a [...]