The country may return to full employment next year even as the threat of Brexit looms, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said. 

The Government is vying to win further banking jobs as London-based operations seek to keep a foothold in the European Union after the UK exits the bloc, Paschal Donohoe said in a Bloomberg Television interview in New York. 

"We have between 25,000 and 30,000 jobs associated with financial services at the moment, " Mr Donohoe said. 

"That's a figure we believe we can grow," he added. 

Goodbody Stockbrokers estimates that Dublin could gain as many as 15,000 financial jobs from Brexit. 

That may help offset the impact of Brexit - with about 15% of its exports going to the UK, Ireland is the EU nation most exposed to Britain's departure from the European Union. 

Returning to full employment would mark one of the last stages of recovery from the economic crisis, when the jobless rate rose to over 15%. 

Unemployment dropped to 6% last month, CSO figures showed. 

Ireland is also pitching to host the European Banking Authority, which is being forced from London after Brexit, competing with cities including Frankfurt and Vienna. 

"I'm confident we are going to put a good case forward, but like any election, if you indicate confidence, you are halfway to losing," Minister Donohoe told Bloomberg. 

"It's up to our colleagues and friends in other states to decide how to vote," Mr Donohoe said.