Maintaining regulatory alignment for the benefit of investors front of mind during Irish Funds UK Symposium

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Maintaining regulatory alignment for the benefit of investors front of mind during Irish Funds UK Symposium


  • Funds and asset management industry continues to closely monitor potential EU-UK divergence on key topics including digital assets, ESG and financial market regulation.

  • EU-UK regulatory alignment an important factor in tackling shared challenges.

  • Ireland is providing a wider range of solutions and capabilities to support the global investment management industry and is playing its part on big agenda items like ESG.

  • Ireland is the third largest centre in the world for investment fund assets with net assets of almost €4tn.

London, 24 November 2022

The importance of maintaining alignment between the UK and EU’s regulatory frameworks was a core theme at the Irish Funds Annual UK Symposium today. While divergence between the UK and EU has been relatively limited since 2016, there are currently several proposed legislative and regulatory changes, originating from both jurisdictions, which Irish Funds are monitoring closely, including proposed regulation of financial markets, digital assets and ESG. A common approach from both jurisdictions to addressing these issues, and other shared challenges, is seen as key to creating positive outcomes for investors and for the economy.

Now in its 9th year, the event was attended by 500+ people, reflecting the close ties between the UK and Irish funds and asset management industry and the strategic importance of Ireland as a global funds and asset management destination. Ireland is currently the third largest funds centre in the world with almost 6 per cent of worldwide investment fund assets, totalling €3,903trn. As of July 2022, Irish domiciled funds, including sub-funds, reached 8,497. Ireland also remains the European domicile of choice for UCITS opportunities (75 per cent of all Irish domiciled funds) and ETFs (representing 66 per cent of the total European ETF market).

Speaking at the event, Derville Rowland, Deputy Governor, Consumer and Investor Protection at the Central Bank of Ireland said:

From a regulatory perspective, I believe it is important for the EU and UK to continue working closely together to ensure – to the maximum extent possible - the consistent and stable application of our frameworks. As the challenges of the last few years have shown, strengthening our alliances with like-minded partners is more important than ever. […] We are an open and engaged regulator, knowing the importance of listening to our stakeholders, building dialogue and being open to feedback. We don’t just welcome your continued engagement – we see it as essential to our mission of serving the public interest by maintaining monetary and financial stability while ensuring that the financial system operates in the best interests of consumers, investors and the wider economy.

Reflecting on today’s symposium, Pat Lardner, Chief Executive at Irish Funds said:

As the discussions today, ranging from operating models, product evolution, digital assets to ESG show, the funds and asset management industry in Ireland has adapted and evolved significantly in the last 3-5 years and continues to do so. The number of global firms operating in Ireland has increased substantially, as has the depth and breadth of their presence. We’ve seen greater diversity in the types of services being offered, ensuring that our solutions are fit for purpose in a more complex economic, geopolitical and regulatory environment. The long and strong partnership with the UK industry continues to grow and flourish because it works for investors in terms of expertise, choice and efficiency. Our approach is based on working to have the right capabilities, being innovative and maintaining trust in what we do to enable global savings. As an industry, whether in Ireland, the UK or elsewhere, we are facing similar challenges. It is therefore important that we continue to work together and engage with policy makers and regulators to ensure the best outcomes both today and in the future.