AIB faces possible extra tracker mortgage bill

Seenh & Heard: pub insurance claims, offshore floating wind farms and pay talks for aviation workers also make the headlines

AIB faces a fresh wave of tracker mortgage disputes from customers who have complained to the Financial Services Ombudsman that the bank short-changed or denied them when they sough compensation, according to the Sunday Times. If successful, the complaints would add to a bill of at least €600 million already incurred by AIB for customer redress, professional fees and administrative overheads arising from the tracker mortgage scandal. The report said the Ombudsman was investigating complaints from AIB customers who object to how the bank calculated interest on the redress that they were due. The Central Bank of Ireland last week fined the mostly State-owned group a record €96.7 million for failures by AIB and EBS in handling tracker mortgage issues.

FBD sued by Long Hall pub

One of Dublin’s best-known pubs, the Long Hall on South Great Georges Street, is suing insurer FBD for €1.4 million for profits lost during Covid-19. Publican Marcus Houlihan said in recently-filed accounts for Long Hall Lounge Bars that it has notified FBD of the claim taken under a business interruption insurance policy. FBD estimated that it would pay €183 million in business interruption claims after the High Court ruled substantially in favour of four publicans who took a test case. The pubs argued that they were entitled to compensation under a disease clause in their policies.

Food shortages

More than a billion people around the world could face food shortages next year and in 2024, the Business Post said the chief executives of major food companies told a conference in Dublin last week. Alan Jope, boss of Ben & Jerry’s and Knorr owner, Unilever, told the Consumer Goods Forum that the world was “at the foothills of a very substantial global food crisis”. Tobias Wasmuht, chief executive of Dutch supermarket giant Spar, said the business was in talks on price increases with suppliers for the second time in 12 months. The war triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was blamed for the impending crisis.

Floating wind farm planned for Donegal coast

The Killybegs Fisherman’s Organisation, the biggest such group in the Republic, has signed a deal with Swedish energy group Hexicon that will make it a partner in a giant floating wind farm off Donegal’s coast, according to the Sunday Independent. The organisation signed a memorandum of understanding with Hexicon in recent days for the project. The wind farm will need €2 billion investment and be located between 50km and 80km offshore, the newspaper added.

Aviation pay talks

Pay talks are scheduled at both Aer Lingus and DAA this week as inflation drives pay demands in the aviation sector. Siptu officials are due to sit down separately with management from both companies on behalf of Aer Lingus ground staff and workers from both Dublin and Cork airports, the Sunday Independent said.