Today in the press

Thursday 21 August 2014 12.24
Today in the press
Today in the press

CENTRAL BANK YET TO REJECT BANKER UNDER NEW RULES - The Central Bank hasn't rejected a single application from a finance executive looking to be cleared to work in a senior position at a bank or insurance house under new rules introduced after the crash, reports The Irish Independent.

Almost 7,000 applications have been processed in the two years since the so-called Fitness and Probity regime came into force. None has been refused. The vast majority of applications were approved and 239 were withdrawn before completing the process.

The Fitness and Probity regime was introduced as part of the effort to improve standards in the upper reaches of the finance sector in the wake of the financial crash and €64bn bank bailout.

It came into effect after various reports blamed poor leadership and management within banks for contributing to the crisis.

"The Central Bank has not yet been obliged to issue a refusal as part of the Fitness and Probity process," a Central Bank spokesman told the Irish Independent.

The Central Bank has said applicants tend to withdraw from the process when issues and questions are raised, avoiding the need for a rejection.

The Bank's Fitness and Probity regime came into effect in December 2011 and is used to vet anyone taking a senior job in a bank, insurer or other financial service provider. Slightly different rules apply for credit unions, and were only implemented last year.

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FLYNN TO FIGHT FOR CONTROL OF BLACKROCK CLINIC - Developer John Flynn has appointed legal advisers to challenge within days an attempt by beef baron Larry Goodman to seize control of Mr Flynn’s 8% stake in the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin, according to The Irish Times.

Mr Goodman’s investment company Breccia recently acquired a €9m loan owed by a Flynn company which holds the Florida-based businessman’s shares in the clinic, from the National Asset Management Agency.

Last week Breccia appointed a receiver, Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton, over the Blackrock shares held by Flynn’s company called Benray. This gave Mr Goodman effective control of Mr Flynn’s 8% stake, adding to the meat baron’s existing holding of 29%.

Mr Flynn has appointed Dublin-based Downes Solicitors and banking specialist barrister Jarlath Ryan to take his case. He plans to claim that Mr Goodman company was wrong to seize control of his shares and its receivers should be removed.

Mr Flynn’s Blackrock loan is understood to have been performing but it ended up in the NAMA after his loans were transferred over to the State loans agency from Anglo Irish Bank.

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US LEGAL CLAIM WILL NOT HIT GLANBIA’S PLANS – The Irish Examiner reports on comments by Glanbia’s managing director Siobhán Talbot, who said a threatened legal action against over alleged misstating of a product’s benefits will not impact the company’s strategy in any way.

US law firm Newport Trial Group is alleging that Bio-Engineered Supplements (BNS) - which Glanbia bought in 2011 - misstated the potential benefits of popular bodybuilding supplement, Nitrix, and in doing so has wrongfully taken millions of dollars from consumers.

The law firm filed the complaint in California saying that the possible number of litigants could be in the tens of thousands as it continues to seek consumers who have purchased the supplement to join as litigants.

However, speaking in the aftermath of Glanbia’s interim results which were released yesterday, Ms Talbot said that such legal proceedings were part and parcel of doing business in the US and denied that it would have any impact on company strategy.

“No, none at all,” said Ms Talbot. “We have a threatened action, as you mentioned, that there’s been some limited publicity about.

“Quite honestly, we see those types of events as part of doing business in the US for consumer companies of scale such as ourselves.We put a lot of work into the quality regime around our products. The US can at times be a litigious society so we’re not concerned about that,” she added.

Ms Talbot also said that there were no plans to discard its Irish dairy business despite it being the company’s worst performing sector in the first half of the year.

The company’s Irish dairy unit was not among the company’s future growth areas identified by Ms Talbot, however.