AIB to shed 1,000 staff by 2022 as bad debt workload falls

Seen & Heard: Clampdown on flat-rate expenses could leave workers out of pocket

AIB headquarters in Ballsbridge Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

AIB is to shed 1,000 staff by 2022 as its bad debt workload falls. In an interview with the Sunday Independent, chief executive Colin Hunt says the lower headcount will form part of a three-year plan due to be submitted to its board next month. Hunt also tells the paper that the time has come for the Central Bank to change the mortgage rules to give buyers more flexibility. The boss of the country’s biggest mortgage lender said that house price inflation was now zero and, according to some measures, falling in Dublin.

Clampdown on flat-rate expenses allowance
In its post-budget coverage, the Sunday Times reports a clampdown on flat-rate expenses allowance from January 1st that it estimates could leave workers up to €400 worse off next year, depending on their profession and tax band.

Ferry companies urge Government action on compensation rule
The Sunday Business Post reports that the State's three biggest ferry companies have urged the Government to lobby against a ruling requiring them to compensate passengers for cancelled sailings, warning that it could jeopardise direct sea links to the Continent at a time when Brexit made them vital transport routes for the country.

Apple seeks buyer for Galway site
Tech giant Apple is seeking a buyer for the 500-acre plot near Athenry in Co Galway where it planned to build an €850 million data centre, drawing a line under a five-year planning saga. The Sunday Times reports that the site is being advertised for sale by property agents in the US and Ireland as Data Hub West, "a ready-to-go data centre development site".


Marlet plan to upscale Apollo House
Staying with the property market, a couple of the Sunday papers report that Irish property group Marlet has lodged plans to scale up its redevelopment of Apollo House in Dublin to 21 storeys. Marlet boss Pat Crean is proposing to add a 10-storey tower with 54 apartments on top of an 11-storey office development that already has planning permission and is under construction. The project, to be known as College Square, spans the Apollo House site and the adjoining College House and Screen Cinema sites.

Pret a Manger plans new Irish stores
In corporate news, the Sunday Independent reports that British sandwich chain Pret a Manger is planing to open in two locations in the Republic this year. The expansion is being done by the company rather than a franchise. It is owned by private equity group JAB Holdings, which also owns Krispy Kreme.

Online blogger Suzanne Jackson generates €500,000
Finally, online blogger Suzanne Jackson made profits of more than €500,000 last year, according to new company documents reported by the Sunday Business Post. Jackson, who founded the SoSueMe fashion and beauty blog in 2010, is one of Ireland's best-known social media influencers. She has more than 272,000 followers on Instagram and 322,000 likes on Facebook.