AIB pay rises, calls for easing state aid rules and an Irish company sues tech giants

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

Staff in AIB are set for a pay increase that is expected to comprise two parts, one tied to individuals’ performance and a flat rate linked to the rising cost of living

Staff in AIB are set for a pay increase that is expected to comprise two parts, one tied to individuals’ performance and a flat rate linked to the rising cost of living

 

Staff in AIB are set for a pay increase that is expected to comprise two parts, one tied to individuals’ performance and a flat rate linked to the rising cost of living. The deal with unions comes as the bank is pressing ahead with plans to disband its complex web of staff grades and replace it with a streamlined career structure from July in order to simplify the organisation and improve transparency and consistency.

As the Brexit countdown continues, concerns have been raised about the Government’s failure to ask the European Union for a loosening of state aid rules to help businesses that would be damaged by a no-deal Brexit. Contingency planning for a disorderly UK exit from the EU has designed support schemes under existing state aid rules. The State’s largest business representative group, Ibec, has called for flexibility on these rules to provide financial support to affected companies. Meanwhile, the Central Bank has been forced to “re-prioritise” its normal supervisory work as the regulator draws on resources to deal with a spike in authorisation applications relating to Brexit.

Brussels has warned IAG that its favoured plans to continue flying freely in and around Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit do not work, in a potentially serious setback for the owner of Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia. Brexit poses a challenge for some European carriers, which will have to show they are more than 50 per cent EU-owned and controlled to retain their flying rights in the bloc. Certain companies - including IAG - have yet to ensure they will reach that threshold after Brexit, when UK nationals will no longer count towards the tally.

Sir Anthony O’Reilly’s former personal nurse is seeking to block recognition of his Bahamas bankruptcy in the US by claiming that the centre of his main interests was France or Ireland.

A Dublin company backed by US-Irish investors has launched a wave of US lawsuits against major technology companies including Apple, Dell and the music streaming service Spotify. Data Scape, which operates from offices in Sandyford, owns a suite of US technology patents acquired in recent years from companies such as Sony. Among them are patents for technology to assist in data transfer and cloud storage.

Trade negotiations between China and the United States have been extended for an extra day amid signs of progress between the two sides. Meanwhile, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom arrived in Washington on Tuesday for talks.

In her column this week Fiona Reddan considers the proposed changes to credit union charges aimed at promoting it as an alternative to moneylenders. She considers whether instead of higher interest rates, an overall market interest cap on short-term loans might be a better idea.

Britain’s hard-pressed retailers are queuing up to deliver news of how they fared over the festive season, culminating in “Super Thursday” tomorrow. Fiona Walsh’s London Briefing assesses the likely grim news from the UK High St this week, while also reporting on the strange media spat over Gregg’s vegan sausage rolls.

Finally, in commercial property, Aidan Murphy reports on how the Marlet Property Group is seeking permission under the fast-track planning process for a new development of 1,500 apartments in Tallaght, Co Dublin.