Accenture cuts 400 jobs, central banks’ dilemma, and selling a house without telling the owner

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

Global consulting firm Accenture has become the latest multinational to implement substantial job cuts, announcing on Thursday that it would axe about 400 jobs from its Irish workforce. The reduction will form part of a 19,000-strong cull across the group, with Accenture describing the move as “offensive” rather than defensive. Our reporters have more on the story.

The Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO) received a complaint last year into a bank putting a house on the market without notifying its owner. Compensation in the case, one of 4,781 received by the ombudsman over the year, amounted to €120,000. Joe Brennan has more details on this and other cases considered by the FSPO.

Joe also takes a deep dive into the dilemma facing global central banks in the face of stubbornly high inflation coupled with continuing uncertainty about the banking sector. As markets digest this week’s rate hike from the Federal Reserve, he asks what the next move might be.

John FitzGerald has banks on his mind too, observing that US regulators were asleep at the wheel when it came to Silicon Valley Bank. He reckons however that it appears the European regulatory system has been more thorough.


Mortgage activity in the State’s housing market fell sharply last month as higher borrowing costs dampened activity, writes Eoin Burke-Kennedy. The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) said the volume and value of mortgages approved in February both fell as lenders raised their mortgage rates in response to European Central Bank rate hikes.

An Irish start-up that has developed a product designed to cut buildings’ energy bills has secured $15 million (€13.8 million) in backing from investors including Barclays and Aramco Ventures. Barry O’Halloran reports that HT Materials Science has designed a fluid that cuts energy use within heating and air conditioning systems.

Four-fifths of first-time applications to the labour market by asylum seekers have been granted since such access first became available, but barriers remain to applicants taking up work that matches their qualifications, a study by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has found. Laura Slattery reports.

In his weekly Any Other Business column, John Burns finds it’s deja vu on bonuses for former Bank of Ireland boss Francesca McDonagh as her new employer Credit Suisse limps through challenging times. He also looks at how much Enterprise Ireland pays the media celebrities it regularly hires to host events and at Horse Racing Ireland’s efforts to promote racing on TikTok and Instagram by engaging influencers such as TV presenter Doireann Garrihy.

Irish jeweller Chupi Sweetman has been chosen as The Irish Times Business Person of the Month for February, an award run in association with Bank of Ireland.

Chupi, the heirloom jewellery company she founded 10 years ago, announced during the month that it had secured €3.75 million in new equity and debt funding to fuel its ambitious growth plans for Ireland and Britain.

If you work in a hybrid environment, how annoying do you find it to “hot desk”? Olive Keogh finds etiquette for hybrid working is still evolving, meaning that it’s not always functioning as it should. Might good manners be expected to prevail in relation to wiping down workspaces, ensuring cables and chairs remain in place for the next user and getting rid of crumbs from keyboards? Apparently not.

This week’s Wild Goose is Galway native Alice Reiner, a director at MSD who lives in Switzerland. Ms Reiner, who travels three days a week, loves Swiss life, even when Swiss people don’t quite get her Irish sarcasm.

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