Central Bank powers, RTÉ's pension and Protocol progress

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Stay up to date with all our business news: sign up to our Business Today daily email news digest.

Michael McGrath, the Minister for Finance, wants a formal response from the Central Bank to a letter his officials wrote to the regulator asking whether it needs more legal powers to help tens of thousands of mortgage holders who are trapped paying high interest rates to overseas funds. Mark Paul reports.

RTÉ's bid to axe retirement fund expenses could cost its pensioners €40 million, former staff have warned the national broadcaster. The State company plans to appeal a Government refusal to allow it change the pension scheme’s rules so it is no longer obliged to pay €500,000 in yearly administrative costs. Barry O’Halloran has the details.

Dublin has made a list of the top 25 cities in the world that attract and foster female high-potential entrepreneurs, scoring highly in the tech sector and gender equality. But problems remain with access to capital, a new survey has found. Ciara O’Brien reports.


Dubliner Noel Greenhalgh has had a few different jobs. From Shamrock Rovers defender to fruit wholesaler to Melbourne Cup-winning horse owner, it’s fair to say Greenhalgh has diversified his CV since emigrating to Australia in 1987, writes Brianna Parkins in Wild Geese.

In Agenda Ciara O’Brien examines the current travails gripping the tech sector, a major employer in this country.

Ireland is a leader in deploying available renewable technologies such as battery storage and grid flexibility enhancement systems, but has to apply focus and urgency to maintain that position, according to Paul McCusker of energy storage firm Fluence, writes Kevin O’Sullivan.

There are some hopeful signs that the row between the UK and the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol may be resolved later this spring. While the Protocol has some negative consequences for the Northern Ireland economy, it also has some upsides, write John FitzGerald in his weekly column.

Elite performance and leadership coach Floyd Woodrow believes adults can learn a lot from children. Children have fantastic dreams and big ideas about what they want to be when they grow up, he says, but our over-academically oriented education system often knocks the stuffing out of both. Olive Keogh reports.

Currently the office vacancy rates stands at 13 per cent, up from 6 per cent in 2016. “That’s a little bit more elevated than we’d like it to be,” says John Moran, CEO of JLL. “We like to see a market with a vacancy rate of about 10 per cent. That’s generally where you have a reasonable balance between landlord and occupier.” Moran tells Inside Business host, Ciarán Hancock, approximately one million square feet of office space in Dublin would be regarded as difficult to let because it’s considered Grade B or lower. (Grade A is brand new, high spec and built to the highest sustainability standards.) “I think you’re going to see Grade B space struggling; inferior space, space that can’t really be converted to better quality or it’s in an inferior location. People who have lots of older office stock will have a lot of work on their hands.”