STATEMENT BY NESSA CHILDERS
Labour Party MEP for Ireland East
Wednesday, 25th April 2012
FOI REQUEST ON IFSC GOVT LOBBYINGREVEALS NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY
Labour MEP Nessa Childers today called for greater transparency on howinternational finance lobbies the Irish government on EU policy.
"From a Freedom of Information request, I have discovered the extent of theinternational finance industry's regular and direct access into the heart of theIrish government, to influence not only Irish policy but also Ireland's stance onEU policy.
“When this group is influencing policy that not only affects the financialservices sector but also impacts on the lives of all sections of Irish society,there must also be far more balance in these meetings. This is especiallyneeded when discussing EU policy, with balance provided with participationfrom other sectors, from SMEs and the social partners.
“The lobbying is facilitated by the so-called 'IFSC Clearing House Group'which is co-ordinated directly by the Department of the Taoiseach andinvolves many other departments. This Group has sub-groups focusing on thehedge fund, insurance, banking and treasury sectors with monthly meetings of each in government buildings.
“Irish people need to know about these regular meetings in governmentbuildings at senior levels with international finance. Many internationalfinancial firms such as JP Morgan, HSBC, State Street are involved and lobbyorganisations such as the Federation of International Banks in Ireland, theIrish Banking Federation, the international hedge fund lobby AIMA. Accountancy firms such as KPMG, PWC and Deloitte are also present.
“It is of course essential that there is close co-operation between thegovernment and the IFSC is developing such an important sector, the IFSCprovides thousands of jobs and much needed tax revenue.“However these meetings, the agenda and the attendees must be madetransparent and published online. We know from previous experience thatgovernment policy on such critical sectors of the economy must be openlyand transparently debated."