Fuelling economic and employment growth – Ireland’s International Banking and Investment Firm Sector

New report on Ireland’s international banking sector shows 65% of firms expect to increase employee numbers in 2023 with Ireland now ranked 6th largest exporter of financial services in the world 

80% of FIBI firms expect business activity in their Irish operations to increase in 2023

Employment in FIBI firms jumped 16% to over 14,200 between 2019 and 2022 

Tuesday 4th April 2023 – A new report published today by the Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) shows 65% of FIBI member firms expect to increase employee numbers in 2023 with a further 80% reporting they expect activity in their Irish operations to increase in the coming year.  

Despite ongoing geographical tensions and macroeconomic uncertainty, the report shows Ireland’s international banking and investment firm sector continued to grow with employment in FIBI firms jumping by 16% between 2019 and 2022.  

With the latest United Nations1 trade and development figures showing Ireland ranked 6th largest exporter of financial services in the world in 2021, up from 8th a year earlier, and hosting 17 of the world’s top 20 global banks, today’s report highlights a thriving international banking sector which continues to cement its reputation as a global hub for financial services, fuelling economic and employment growth.  

Positive outlook for the sector in challenging times 

Outlining the significant contribution of the sector to the Irish economy, Fernando Vicario, Chair of FIBI and CEO of Bank of America Europe DAC and Country Executive for Ireland said: “Our latest FIBI report reveals a sector which continues to grow consistently, adding significant value, widely recognised and respected as a key cornerstone of the Irish economy. The exceptional performance of the sector in recent years as well as the positive outlook reported by FIBI members looking to the future is all the more notable in the context of the challenges posed by the ongoing geopolitical tensions, mounting macroeconomic pressures and the steady COVID-19 pandemic recovery. Indeed, despite recent global uncertainty, the international banking sector in Ireland remains robust and FIBI members are confident of continued growth in the coming months.” 

“The sector continues to enjoy significant growth of new entrants into the Irish market and the development of existing international banking operations, particularly in highly skilled and high value-added areas. This is partly driven by the UK’s departure from the EU but more importantly it comes as a result of the existing business-friendly operating environment here which has enabled international banks and investment firms to maintain and grow their operations, even in challenging times. This growth of new and existing operations, including the relocation of key personnel and senior management to Ireland, has helped to develop and grow specialised skills within our indigenous work force, increasing the sector’s talent pool and Ireland’s competitiveness and attractiveness for further investment and growth.”  

Brian Hayes, Executive Director of Banking and Payments Federation Ireland stated: “As highlighted directly by FIBI member company CEOs within the latest report, Ireland has many advantages to offer international banks and investment firms, including its status as the only English-speaking country with a common law tradition in the Eurozone, its firmly pro-business culture and internationally recognised regulatory standards. Ireland’s economic and political stability, and in particular, its response to the global financial crisis, continue to be key components of its compelling proposition to the sector.” 

Sustaining the industry’s success into the future 

Commenting on how the sector can be sustained into the future, Mr Vicario noted: “The continued growth of Ireland’s international banking and investment sector cannot be taken for granted, however. While we continue to monitor recent global developments in banking, the key challenges identified by FIBI members include the increasing regulatory landscape at both EU and domestic levels; geopolitical uncertainties including the continuing fallout from Brexit; as well as rising business costs, and cyber risks. In order to sustain the industry’s success into the future, the need remains for all stakeholders, including FIBI members and Government, to double down on commitments and focus on developing a level playing field across all aspects of the operating environment. This will help cement Ireland as an attractive and innovative location for activities in key emerging areas such as sustainable finance and fintech, continued development of the diverse skills base, and preserve the economic and political stability which has served this country so well over many years. FIBI will continue to work closely with Government and key stakeholders to ensure the sector continues to punch above its weight on the global stage and remains a growing force in Ireland’s economic landscape.”  

Today’s report, which examines the contribution of the International Banking community to the Irish economy has been published by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) in conjunction with its affiliate the Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) and is available to download here. 

FIBI is the representative body for international banking and investment firms in Ireland, representing over 30 member organisations, comprising many of the world’s leading global banks and investment firms.  


The survey of FIBI members was undertaken in January 2023.  

Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland. Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 125 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here. 

Contact: Fiona Murphy, Head of Communications, 087 9740046 or Jillian Heffernan, Director of Public Affairs, 087 9016880. 

The 'Fuelling economic and employment growth - Ireland’s International Banking and Investment Firm Sector' is available for download below in PDF format.