Huge increase in imports checks, consumer confidence slips, and is it time to switch banks?

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

There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of consignments of food and plant products  being processed by  inspectors at Irish ports since Brexit. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/ The Irish Times

There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of consignments of food and plant products being processed by inspectors at Irish ports since Brexit. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/ The Irish Times

 

There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of consignments of food and plant products and live animals being processed by health inspectors at Irish ports since Brexit, new data shows. Department of Agriculture inspectors and health officials are processing about 1,700 consignments a week compared with less than 100 a week last year under new border controls covering sanitary and phytosanitary checks on goods being imported from Britain. Simon Carswell has the details.

Colin Gleeson reports on the latest Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse which shows consumer confidence slipped this month on the back of rising costs and prices, along with emerging doubts over plans to fully lift the remaining public health restrictions, according to the latest Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse. Business sentiment held steady, though Bank of Ireland group chief economist Dr Loretta O’Sullivan said the overall data presented “a mixed picture”.

From Friday, Ulster Bank will start pulling back services to new customers, as well as tightening the ones it offers existing customers, as part of its retrenchment from the Irish market. Fiona Reddan outlines the changes and what consumers can do to minimise the impact of them.

Government delays in easing tough Covid-19 travel curbs this year left passenger traffic trailing by almost 70 per cent at the Republic’s airports, reports Barry O’Halloran. An Airports Council International (ACI) calculates that Europe’s airports have lost 1.26 billion passengers so far this year, leaving them 62 per cent behind 2019. According to ACI, traffic at the Republic’s airports remains 68 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, against 34 per cent down in countries that re-opened earlier.

Payments technology company Square is expanding its Irish presence, adding 30 new jobs to its Dublin office to bring the company’s workforce to 150 people at its European headquarters. Square’s European executive director Jason Lalor tells Ciara O’Brien, “This is major for us . . . Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve quadrupled our team size in Dublin, which is no easy feat.”

In other jobs news, Colin Gleeson reports that the Armada Hotel in Co Clare has announced the creation of more than 100 new jobs as part of a of a €3 million redevelopment plan due for completion in February. The four star hotel has launched a recruitment drive, which will be headquartered from a beach hut by the sea at Spanish Point, to attract talent from across the island to posts which include more than 30 hospitality roles.

This week’s Me & My Money features Eve Finn, chief executive of Legal & General Investment Management who says Covid has changed her spending habits.

Technology entrepreneur Colm Lyon has pumped a further €2.5 million into his digital payments company, Fire Financial Services. Mark Paul says the cash injection brings to about €19 million the total of equity invested in the business, the overwhelming bulk of it provided by Mr Lyon.

In this week’s Q&A, Dominic Coyle advises a reader who lives in the North about where she should pay inheritance tax from her deceased uncle?

Dominic also advises a readering wondering if she can release equity in her home to help her ex-husband buy a place.

And finally, you can read all of this week’s Stocktake columns by Proinsias O’Mahony, here.

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