Derville Rowland: Dynamic change in uncertain times - balancing opportunity and risk

Remarks by Ms Derville Rowland, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, at the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) 7th Annual European Compliance and Legal Conference, Brussels, 28 September 2023.

Central bank speech  | 
29 September 2023

It's a pleasure to be with you today and my thanks to AFME for the invitation.

As a barrister by training and a regulator by profession, the theme of this year's conference – "managing legal and regulatory challenges in an ever-changing world" – strikes very close to my heart.

It was the American law professor Grant Gilmore who said: "Law is not static but dynamic. It changes as society changes, both forever in an equilibrium precarious and unstable."

As it is brought into being through law-making, the same can be said for financial regulation. It too evolves - in ways subtle and striking – with the times.

But, it's the latter part of Gilmore's quote – when he speaks of the precarious and unstable equilibrium - that feels especially pertinent right now.

The tectonic plates shifted massively in recent years, and continue to do so. The pandemic, and all that entailed. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, reigniting war on our continent. The acceleration of the devastating effects of climate change. The human suffering, the societal impact, and the economic consequences.

In Jackson Hole last month, Christine Lagarde outlined how we are facing a deepening geopolitical divide and a global economy that is fragmenting into competing blocs. This is being accompanied by rising levels of protectionism as countries align with new strategic goals.