RTÉ will require rescue if funding issues not addressed

Seen & heard: Bidders circle Brown Thomas, Morans face PFS bill; and missing tradespeople

No formal bid has yet been made for upmarket retail Brown Thomas though private equity funds are circling. Photograph: Laura Hutton

No formal bid has yet been made for upmarket retail Brown Thomas though private equity funds are circling. Photograph: Laura Hutton

 

Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ, faces the prospect of requiring rescue if its acute funding issues are not addressed, the Sunday Independent reports.

A report from London-based consultants states: “If Ireland is to continue to have an indigenous public service broadcasting ecology, with a sustainable commitment to news, Irish original content and genre diversity for multiple audiences, funding will have to be secured – via a long-term reform of the licence fee and a short-term lifeline in the interim.

No formal bid has yet been made for the owner of Brown Thomas and Arnotts but private equity funds from the United States and the Middle East are circling the €4.7 billion Selfridges group, the Business Post writes.

Noel and Valerie Moran could face a bill of €16.5 million for money Australian payments group EML is having to put into the Prepaid Financial Services business they formerly owned before its €211 million sale last year. The Sunday Times reports the money relates to “historical deficiencies” in its UK business. EML says the issues date back to before its acquisition of the business and “all financial consequences are the responsibility of the previous owners”.

A shortage of tradespeople is forcing a shopfitting company to turn down work, according to the Sunday Independent. Pure Fitout, which says it has a pipeline of €35 million in contracts, says it will have to say no to some work because numbers in trades are at an all-time low. It specifically cites the dearth of young people coming into the building trades.

Bank of Ireland has frozen work on an instant payments app designed to help traditional banks compete with the likes of Revolut and N26, according to the Business Post. The bank is focusing instead on IT work on its own banking app and digital platforms. It is part of a joint venture with AIB, Permanent TSB and KBC on the instant payment app which was due to go live early next year but will not now return to the project until then.

Members of the Davy-16 of stockbroker executives behind a controversial bond deal that ultimately led to the sale of Ireland’s largest broker could face “robust” scrutiny if they apply to work again in financial services, according to a top Central Bank official, the Sunday Times reports. In a letter to Social Democrats leader Róisín Shortall, the regulator’s director general of financial conduct Derville Rowland said approval to work in the sector was not withdrawn from the Davy-16 as they no longer worked in the sector.

Looking for a mortgage, then check out KBC and Ulster Bank. That’s the advice of broker Garry Manning, of Omac Mortgages and Finance, who tells the Sunday Times that the two departing lenders are turning around mortgage applications in around eight days compared to up to two months at other lenders. He says the lenders are quiet as customers are wary of their imminent departure but notes that Ulster Bank has a market leading five-year fixed term mortgage rate.