Bad news on repossession, markets bounce and the future of banking

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Shares bounced on the last day of October,  softening the blow of what has been a grim month. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Shares bounced on the last day of October, softening the blow of what has been a grim month. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

 

Hundreds of homeowners face the renewed threat of repossession following a landmark judgment by the Court of Appeal, writes Mary Carolan, as the court dismisses doubt about the validity of charges held by so-called vulture fund Tanager against more than 1,700 homes.

There was better news for stock market investors as share prices bounced to soften the blow of what has been a grim October. However, global stocks are still on track for their worst month since 2012 owing to the slowdown of the previously high-flying US market.

Back in the courts, insurer FBD has settled an action against the operator of a Galway leisure centre and a firm of loss assessors over alleged fraud in a claim for damages arising from a storm in 2009.

Whatever about their current recovery, traditional insurers and banks had better watch out. Gartner Research says they face extinction in the next decade due to increased digitisation in the financial services sector. Charlie Taylor has the details.

Back to the presents and while we might not be the easiest place to do business in, according to the World bank – New Zealand holds that honour – we still rank above Germany, France, Spain and most others, according to this year’s report.

Eir is expected to seek discussions with its rival Sky Ireland about a potential deal to keep BT Sport on its television platform, after Sky announced that it would become BT’s “exclusive” distribution partner from next summer. Mark Paul has the details.

Another survey says that small business feel they need more support from Government. And what would help? The wishlist including everything from tax breaks and a lower VAT rate to additional grant funding, subsidised staff training and other assistance to help their companies grow.

In Innovation, a family background in farming has helped Caleb Harper design a computer that can determine the ideal condition to grow certain crops. He spoke to Ciara O’Brien.

And Marie Boran examines the race to create the perfect AI sex companion in our technology section. We’re a long way from realistic sexbots, she says, but as they evolve, a number of ethical issues may arise.

And, finally, in our Inside Business podcast, Ciarán Hancock talks to Daniel Mackey and Paul Coppinger, winners of this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year award, while Cliff Taylor and London editor Denis Staunton analyse this week’s UK budget.

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