Brian Hayes: Legacy IT systems holding Irish banks back

Irish banks risk being left behind in a wave of financial services innovation as their outdated IT systems stunt their ability to embrace technology.

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes said Irish banks’ payment systems have created “major problems” that are unsustainable in the long-term.

As the country’s established lenders struggle to overcome the scars of the financial crisis, a crop of financial technology upstarts are providing a whole new challenge.

“Financial technology is a big new part of our financial services industry in Ireland. We need to be prepared for what comes out of the EU in terms of regulation.

"Dublin has a huge amount of expertise in the financial technology sector and has adapted well to the rise of financial technology as a global trend.

“The potential for further development of the sector in Ireland is enormous. Globally, financial technology investment more than tripled to about $12bn in 2014 and this has almost doubled in 2015.

"The problem is that banks have become automated in a step-by-step way through outdated back-office systems. This has created major problems with their payment systems which is unsustainable. Irish banks, unfortunately, don’t have state-of-the-art IT systems which is creating a drag on banking and payment practices,” Mr Hayes said.

Mr Hayes was speaking after the announcement that he is to lead negotiations for the European People’s Party in the European Parliament on its first financial technology report, due to be published this autumn.

“The industry has been left largely unregulated and this needs to change. With the right type of regulation, financial technology can be allowed to grow and flourish,” Mr Hayes said.


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