THOUSANDS OF BANK OF IRELAND CARDS WON'T WORK IN AIB ATMs - Thousands of Bank of Ireland customers with ATM-only cards will no longer be able to take out cash from AIB machines, writes the Irish Independent. A large proportion of those affected will be second-level students who have Bank of Ireland cards which they cannot use in shops or online but can use in ATMs to access savings or money lodged by parents. It follows AIB's move to begin processing financial card transactions through international schemes. As Bank of Ireland ATM-only cards are not internationally branded, they won't work through the foreign clearing houses, AIB say. Industry sources say the AIB move was prompted by its decision to replace all its Maestro- branded debt cards with Visa Debit cards - a process which began last year and is now nearly complete. Bank of Ireland say only a small volume of customers are affected - mostly second-level students. "However, we have a very extensive ATM network and they also continue to have access to any other ATM provider, with the exception of AIB devices," the bank said. It added that Bank of Ireland debit cards were not affected.
BUSINESSMAN ACCUSED OF TRANSFERING MORE THAN 40 PROPERTIES TO WIFE - The National Asset Management Agency is pursuing businessman David Cullen at the Commercial Court, over alleged unlawful transfers of property. Lawyers for the agency claim Mr Cullen transferred or charged more than 40 properties to his wife Mary in 2009 and 2010 to place the assets beyond the reach of his creditors, says the Irish Times. It is also alleged that Mr Cullen leased the Turk’s Head bar and Paramount Hotel in Dublin’s Temple Bar to two companies in breach of security covenants in loans advanced by Bank of Ireland, since taken over by Nama. Last March, a €29 million High Court judgment was obtained by Nama against Mr Cullen, now with an address at Iverna Gardens, London, arising out of unpaid loans from Bank of Ireland for properties including the Turk’s Head and Paramount Hotel. Martin Hayden SC, for the defence, opposed the case being fast-tracked on grounds including alleged culpable delay on the part of Nama in initiating the proceedings. In court documents, Nama claimed to have obtained evidence by way of cross-examination from Mary Cullen in October last year and said a short period of time was required to assimilate the information before the agency issued proceedings on December 19th last year.
RYANAIR SHELVES CORK/KERRY PLANS - Ryanair has shelved plans to increase its services at Cork and Kerry airports, citing high airport charges as the reason, reports the Irish Examiner. Speaking yesterday on the back of the airline’s latest quarterly results, Ryanair’s outgoing deputy chief Michael Cawley said the airline was no longer in talks with either airport, but remains open to suggestions on how it can grow at each. He said that charges remained too high at the two locations, even though there was still potential for Ryanair to grow services significantly from both. Ryanair reacted to the Government’s budget measure that axed the consumer travel tax by announcing an expansion of its services - including new routes out of Dublin, Shannon and Knock - most of which are set to begin in April. The airline is promising to add 300,000 and 80,000 extra passengers at Shannon and Knock alone, and around one million per year at all Irish airports combined. However, it originally said that growth from Cork and Kerry would take longer to materialise and wouldn’t happen before next autumn, following the delivery of its first tranche of new aircraft.
SCOTTISH FUND MANAGERS FEAR BREAK-UP BILL - Fund managers based in Scotland face a multimillion-pound bill to pay for a new financial regulator if Scots vote for independence in the September referendum, the trade body for Scotland’s financial services industry has warned. The public intervention by Scottish Financial Enterprise underlines growing concern in a crucial sector of the economy about the implications of Scotland breaking away from the rest of Britain, says the Financial Times. “A yes vote would require the creation of an additional financial regulator with hundreds of staff. The cost would run into millions and have to be paid for by the industry in Scotland,” said Owen Kelly, chief executive of the trade body. The intervention by the financial services industry, which employs almost 100,000 people in Scotland, comes amid opinion polls showing the Yes camp gaining ground ahead of the September 18 vote on breaking the 300-year-old union with England, though still well short of a majority. Mr Kelly said fund managers would need to tailor their products and services for Scottish clients to a new tax, consumer protection and regulatory regime, creating additional complexity and costs.