Thursday 12 January 2017 7:18 pm

Ireland targets UK fintech startups mulling Brexit contingency plans

The Irish government is eyeing up the UK's thriving fintech sector and will make a bid to attract startups to Dublin directly in the wake of the Brexit vote, City A.M. has learned.

The country's junior finance minister Eoghan Murphy will head to the Square Mile along with experts in fintech and payments in the coming weeks, with the goal of selling the capital city as an alternative gateway for doing business in Europe.

Backed by IDA Ireland, the country's inward investment agency, and William Fry, one of the country's top law firms, the event is designed to showcase Ireland's selling points, including startup friendly regulators who have recently sped up the e-money license application process.

Read more: The UK City watchdog's so good at fintech it's going to teach Hong Kong

And fintech startups attending the event will be offered the opportunity to gain insight into the process, with a follow-up workshop planned with the Irish Central Bank.

It has also been handed a boost to its reputation after Facebook secured an e-money license in the country at the end of last year.

Ireland has been identified as one of several favourable candidates for fintechs specialising in payments to seek regulation should the UK pursue a hard Brexit and lose passporting rights, along with Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg, according to a new in-depth six month study by the UK's Emerging Payments Association (EPA).

Read more: Forget Brexit: London and Belgium are collaborating on fintech

However, Germany failed to make the cut in another blow to the country's bid to lure businesses away from London, due to its "impressive reputation for being antagonistic to the innovative European payments sector".

And one UK fintech insider gave Ireland's bid similar short shrift telling City A.M they were to be expected: "You could copy and paste such pitches to any country's inward investment department right now – it would be the same".