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Revival of Ireland’s Banking Sector

Those of us involved in the Irish banking and finance sector during the past decade have witnessed truly historic events, writes Peter O’Brien.

Peter O’Brien is a Partner at the Banking and Financial Services Department at Matheson.

From 2004-07, we saw a dramatic boom in the banking industry. Then, from 2007, we witnessed one of the biggest banking sector collapses the world has ever seen.

These dramatic events called for unprecedented policy responses, including the government’s 2008 bank guarantee, bank recapitalisation, nationalisation and, ultimately, the EU-IMF bailout.

These were not merely once in a lifetime events, but were once in a century events. But now, finally we can refer to the banking crisis in the past tense.

After these turbulent years, in 2014, we can confidently say that the Irish banking crisis is over. Ireland has exited the EU-IMF bailout and all our economic indicators are pointing in the right direction.

As the Irish property market steadily improves, so too does the banking sector’s confidence. We are now beginning a positive new chapter for the Irish banking sector.

Deutsche Bank’s announcement of 700 new jobs shows that growth is already underway and underlines the fact that Dublin is now a major global financial services hub.

International admiration for Ireland’s stoic and effective response to the crisis has been effusive.

Similarly, the broader international reaction to Ireland’s return to the markets has been one of admiration.

Even those most unsentimental of organisations, the ratings agencies, all now re-affirm Ireland’s fundamental credibility.

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