FBD seeks to reduce payouts for business interruption claims

Seen & Heard: Davy paid €14.2m by the National Treasury Management Agency

Stockbroking firm Davy was paid €14.2 million by the National Treasury Management Agency over the last seven years for acting as primary dealer in the State’s bonds.

Stockbroking firm Davy was paid €14.2 million by the National Treasury Management Agency over the last seven years for acting as primary dealer in the State’s bonds.

 

The Business Post reports that insurer FBD is seeking to exclude the value of State business Covid supports from payouts for business interruption during the pandemic.

The paper's sources say that in some cases FBD wants to deduct payouts for wage subsidies and other closure supports. FBD did not comment to the Post on whether the value of the supports, if they are deducted by the insurer, would be repaid to the State.

Vacancies

Figures collated by the Heritage Council reveal huge vacancy rates at commercial premises in regional towns all over Ireland. Up to a quarter of premises are vacant in some towns, according to a report in the Business Post.

Tipperary town has a vacancy rate of 31 per cent. The council complains there is a lack of data on building usage in Ireland.

Payment

Stockbroking firm Davy was paid €14.2 million by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) over the past seven years for acting as primary dealer in the State’s bonds.

Figures released to Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy, and reported in the Business Post, show it was paid almost €2.9 million last year and is due €1.64 million for 2021.

The State ended the relationship with Davy recently after it was fined more than €4 million after 16 of its staff were secretly on the other side of a corporate bond deal.

Energy

An international energy consortium is planning a €3 billion wind farm 13km off the Wicklow coast, according to the Sunday Independent.

Ocean Winds, which comprises energy companies EDPR and ENGIE, has applied for a foreshore licence to develop the scheme, which would be located in the Irish Sea off the coast between Bray and Greystones. It will be completed by 2030, the paper says.

Deal

The Sunday Independent also reports on a legal action in the United States, where an investor in PRA Health Sciences has filed a civil action over the company’s proposed $12 billion (€10 billion) buyout by Icon, an Irish clinical trials group.

The paper reports that it could prevent the deal from closing. The investor alleges PRA filed an incorrect registration statement under the US’s Exchange Act in relation to the deal.

Tax

The Sunday Times reports that thousands of family businesses are facing a “tax shock” after Revenue confirmed that their owners are personally liable for PAYE deducted from their earnings, but warehoused by the companies to help protect their liquidity during the pandemic.

Revenue says directors and employees with shareholdings of more than 15 per cent are personally liable for income taxes deducted from their earnings but not paid, leaving thousands of publicans, shopkeepers and other business owners on the hook, it says.

Inflation

The Sunday Times also reports that inflation may be underestimated due to a data gap caused by statisticians not being able to “keep up with big shifts in expenditure patterns caused by lockdown lifestyles”.

It says the Central Bank also believes lockdown has made price checking more difficult, forcing experts to rely on estimates for 15 per cent of items in the consumer price index.

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