Banks prepare to impose negative rates on personal customers


Irish banks are preparing to impose negative interest rates on personal banking customers, according to the Sunday Times. Customers with large account balances will be targeted in the move which, the paper, reports, will likely be led by AIB. Separately, the Business Post reports that the Law Society is not ruling out legal action over the decision by AIB and Bank of Ireland to apply negative rates on client accounts.

Fast-growing social media group TikTok is eyeing up the Sorting Office building in Dublin’s docklands as it looks for a new Irish headquarters, according to the Business Post. Google pulled out of a plan to lease the building last year. The paper says TikTok is also looking at a site close to the 3Arena capable of accommodating up to 5,000 people. It currently employs 1,100 in Ireland.

Covid has been good for stockbrokers with the number of new accounts for small investors more than doubling during the first lockdown, the Sunday Times reports. That has led to a dramatic jump in trading activity by DIY investors, but the Central Bank is concerned at an even more dramatic rise in activity in risky contracts for difference.

Clothing and footwear sales slumped in the last three months of 2020 while tech goods performed strongly, according to a report by Retail Excellence and Grant Thornton. Online sales nearly trebled over the previous year but activity in the sector fell 7.2 per cent overall, the Sunday Independent reports.

The Sunday Times also reports that Irish companies are struggling to match international peers in the online marketplace. A survey of activity in seven European states ranks Ireland last. Interestingly the most mature digital market here is seen as banking, according to the report but we are particularly poor in e-customer relationship management. The Dutch lead the way in the report which also looked at the UK, Italy, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

The Sunday Independent reports on the plight of Richard O’Halloran, the Irish aircraft leasing executive detained in China. O’Halloran, who has not been allowed to leave the country for the past two years, has been told he must pay $36 million to repay investors who a Chinese court found were defrauded by the Chinese chairman of his firm in a crowdfunding scheme by finance companies the chairman ran in China.

The report by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland on apartment building costs has alarmed Dublin City Council, the Business Post reports. The property group’s figures show it costs between €219,00 and €262,000 to build a two-bedroom apartment in urban Dublin. That was news to the council apparently: it has been paying private developers between €303,636 and €372,842 per social housing unit, according to a report it produced in December.


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