Banks and bad loans, CIE’s pension woes, and Decathlon’s hurling ambitions

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

Bastien Grandgeorge, right, chief executive of Decathlon Ireland, and Kieran O’Shea, store leader at its new outlet in Ballymun, which will open on Saturday. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Bastien Grandgeorge, right, chief executive of Decathlon Ireland, and Kieran O’Shea, store leader at its new outlet in Ballymun, which will open on Saturday. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

 

The Financial Services Union has written to banking chiefs to press them on how they plan to staff bad-loans units amid an expected surge in arrears cases as a result of Covid-19, at a time when industry workers are reporting high-stress levels. Joe Brennan reports on the trade union’s concerns.

State-owned transport group CIÉ faces a partial setback in efforts to tackle a near €550 million pension shortfall after workers backed proposals to repair one plan, but rejected mooted reforms for another.

A second wave of Covid-19 would wipe out any chance of economic recovery in Ireland either for this year or next, the OECD has warned in a bleak assessment of the economy. Charlie Taylor reports

Galway-based chef and restaurant owner JP McMahon is battling for “survival” as he prepares to reopen one and possibly two of his three businesses in the city. He told Inside Business, an Irish Times podcast, that he’s not a fan of the 2 metre social distancing rule and admitted that his Michelin-star restaurant Aniar might not survive the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.

Irish-founded privacy company Ethyca has raised $13.5 million (€12 million) in a series A funding round that brings the company’s total funding to $20 million. Ciara O’Brien has the details.

French sports retailer Decathlon is seeking a local partner to supply hurling equipment to a potential six to nine Irish stores so it can lure players of both of the GAA’s main codes to its business. It opens here on Saturday with a new €13 million store in Ballymun. Barry O’Halloran has the details.

As Cantillon notes, global credit ratings agencies were under fire yesterday from President Michael D Higgins, who is unhappy at their decision to downgrade little Costa Rica.

In her weekly column, Karlin Lillington calls for the next government to establish a national genome project, rather than leaving the field open to a private company.

Olive Keogh, meanwhile, looks at some of the innovations that could help with life after the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are fully lifted.

Tech accelerator project Patch is seeking to provide teenagers with a platform to develop ideas to help build the future. Ciara O’Brien examines its credentials.

The Irish Times has launched its Innovation Awards for 2020 with applications now invited. The awards will recognise innovations and bright ideas brought to market between January 1st 2019 and May 30th of this year, across five categories. It’s free to enter so check out Irishtimes.com/innovation

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