Global banking giant HSBC has announced it has chosen Ireland as the hub for its reinsurance arm.

HSBC Reinsurance Ltd, which was set up in Ireland in 2000, wrote $352 million in premiums last year and has assets totalling $698 million.

It already employs 25 people at its headquarters at Grand Canal Quay in Dublin.

The announcement puts Ireland at the heart of the HSBC Reinsurance operation, which is worth $16.5 billion, and will lead to the creation of 15 new positions.

These will include a chief actuary and deputy chief underwriter, and the recruitment process to fill both posts has already begun.

Commenting on the announcement, HSBC's Ireland chief executive Simon Wainwright said: 'This decision is a major boost for HSBC Ireland and recognition of the hard work and success of our Insurance business.

'Furthermore it is a welcome reminder that Ireland remains an excellent base for global financial services operations, we have an excellent skills and knowledge base here and I am pleased to be announcing a positive news story to the market,' he added.

HSBC operates in over 80 countries worldwide and has a staff of over 9,000.