For Oral Answer on : 24/01/2023
Question Number(s): 99 Question Reference(s): 2872/23
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Finance if he will report on the work of the fintec steering group established in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Fintech Steering Group was established in the Department of Finance in 2021 as part of action measure 12 of the Ireland for Finance Action Plan 2021. This reflects the fact that Ireland is uniquely positioned to benefit from global investment in fintech, given our experience in both technology and financial services. To date the Group has worked on discussing cross divisional issues on digital finance and EU files, for example, the regulation on markets in crypto-assets (MiCA) and the digital operational resilience act (DORA), consulting with fintech firms and industry representative bodies, researching some fintech issues in other jurisdictions and tracking market development. Also agreed an action measure for Ireland for Finance Action Plan 2022 with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) on the development of educational consumer resources to support consumers to engage with fintech.
Following on from this, action measure 2 of the Ireland for Finance Action Plan 2022 committed to implementing the second phase of the work of the Department of Finance Fintech Steering Group by expanding the Group across Government in 2022. The Group now include officials from Departments of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and Skillnet. The Central Bank of Ireland and the CCPC are observer members. Its first introductory meeting was held on 23 June 2022. The expanded Fintech Steering Group will:
– work to ensure that Ireland’s policy environment will allow digital finance to continue to thrive
– collaborate across Government on fintech issues, communicate our offering and contribute to EU policy making
– work to understand and assess industry policy proposals in order to further advance fintech in Ireland.
To assist the work of the Fintech Steering Group, a Joint Fintech Group was also established last year. It is made up of representatives from the Fintech Steering Group and from industry and it has been established in order to gather a wide variety of expertise to inform the Group’s work. It held its first introductory meeting on 16 November 2022. The purpose of the Joint Fintech Group is to:
– provide strategic guidance on the State’s industrial strategy for digital finance from an expert industry perspective;
– inform the State of the sector’s skills and education requirements for the future;
– act as a pre-consultation forum on policy and legislative developments related to digital finance; and
– act as a forum for the private and public sector to engage on key items of the European Commission’s digital finance agenda.
The Joint Fintech Group is currently made up of fourteen members with six from the public sector drawn from the cross-government Fintech Steering Group and eight from the private sector. It is envisaged that the Group will meet twice a year.
Membership of this Group includes representatives from Departments of Finance, Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Skillnet, IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Financial Services Ireland (Part of Ibec), Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, Electronic Money Association Ireland, Sustainable Finance Ireland, Irish Funds, Insurance Ireland, Instech.ie, and Technology Ireland (Part of Ibec). The Central Bank and the CCPC attend as observers.
The continuation of work on digital finance is a priority of the 2022 Update of the Ireland for Finance strategy, which was launched in October 2022 and is available online: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/ireland-for-finance-strategy/#updated-ireland-for-finance-strategy
The Ireland for Finance Action Plan 2023 is currently being finalised and is expected to be published in Q1 2023 following Government approval.