Thumbs down for banks; Covid reopening; and Vernon’s new estate

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

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


Irish people have a sharply negative view of banks in the State even though bank staff think they are doing better than they were. Those are the findings of two separate surveys, writes Joe Brennan. “The survey indicates that banks have missed an opportunity to make a positive difference during the pandemic,” Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said.

But while they are down on banks, they are certainly looking forward to travel, according to Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary who said people were booking sun holidays while the Government continues with “stupid and ineffective” Covid travel curbs. Barry O’Halloran was listening in as the company reported a record loss of €815 million in the 12 months to the end of March.

They were also shopping, with retailers reported brisk footfall levels as the sector fully reopened on Monday. Dundrum Town Centre saying that the number of shoppers breached pre-pandemic levels during the afternoon, writes Mark Paul

And Covid-19 has delivered “an appetite for outdoor dining never seen before in Ireland”, according to restaurateur and chef Niall Davidson. The former Allta owner is applying for permission to convert the top two storeys of a Dublin city centre car park to an outdoor restaurant and cinema for the next three years, writes Seán McCárthaigh

“Significant regulatory concerns” over Irish-founded Prepaid Financial Services saw shares in the Australian fintech company EML suspended on Monday. EML paid up to €228 million for the fast-growing Irish business in March last year from Noel and Valerie Moran. The concerns about Prepaid were raised by the Irish Central Bank. Joe Brennan reports.

Thirteen members of the Davy 16, the group of employees involved in a 2014 Anglo Irish Bank bond trade at the heart of a Central Bank fine and reprimand for the firm in March were named in the High Court on Monday as developer Patrick Kearney sues for a second time.

Stephen Vernon, the man with the golden touch in the Irish property market over three decades, is to become the third owner of the historic Salterbridge estate in Cappoquin, Co Waterford – formerly part of the Lismore estate – after agreeing to purchase the house and just under 140 adjoining acres for a sum thought to be close to the asking price of €3.25 million, writes Ciarán Hancock.

RTÉ says it will accept more than the 60 voluntary redundancies it had planned under a “voluntary exit” programme after it was strongly oversubscribed and as the broadcaster looks at ways of saving costs after unions rejected a temporary pay cut. Laura Slattery has the details.

And in her column, Laura examines what German media group Bauer is likely to do with its newly-acquired portfolio of Irish radio stations after its €100 million deal for Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp was cleared as expected by communications minister Catherine Martin.

In Personal Finance, Fiona Reddan explains why people are getting nasty shocks when they read their annual pension projections statements – your money is still there but the retirement income it will buy you is lower.

And in Q&A, a reader wants advice on whether she should take control of her uncle’s house, as he wishes, while he is in a nursing home. And a family that has outgrown their negative equity home want to offset their cost of renting elsewhere against any rental income they receive.

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