CENTRAL BANK TO BRING IN CREDIT UNION RULES - The Central Bank is to introduce its fitness and probity regime for credit unions this August, reports The Irish Times. The initial phase of the move, which it said was designed to improve governance standards at board and management level, will cover credit unions with assets of more than €10 million. The phased basis is being used to allow time for the implementation of internal controls and procedures in compliance with the new regulations, provided for in the Credit Union and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012. It will essentially conduct background checks on people with senior roles evaluating their fitness to practice. This process will look for a variety of scenarios including previous convictions, conflicts of interest and bankruptcy although each will be assessed on a case by case basis. Following completion of the first phase, new appointments to controlled functions will be subject to regulations and standards from November while all officers in existing controlled functions will be compliant by August, 2014. Finally, from August 2015, all existing credit unions will be brought in line.
IMF CONCERN OVER IRISH JOBS MARKET - The IMF says unemployment would be over 24% if "discouraged" workers and those forced to work part-time were taken into account, reports The Irish Independent. The Washington-based body poured cold water on the fall in the unemployment rate to 13.7% in the first three months of the year, claiming it was due in large part to a shrinking labour force. And it claimed most new jobs were part-time roles for employees looking for full-time work. The tenth review of Ireland's bailout also claimed regional disparities exist in unemployment rates, with the difference between Dublin and the South-East at around 7.25%. The 90-page report praises Ireland for sticking to its targets but warned high private sector debt and continuing austerity was a drag on recovery. The Fund said the ability of banks to lend is being hindered by non-performing loans and low profitability, as well as low turnover in the housing market.
D&G GET SUSPENDED SENTENCE OVER TAX - Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been given suspended sentences by a court in Milan for tax evasion, reports The Financial Times. The suspended sentences were for a year and eight months, while the designers have also been ordered to pay fines of €500,000. A judge ruled that the two had sold their brand to a Luxembourg-based holding company in order to avoid declaring royalties worth more than €100m. Italian tax authorities have been targeting the widespread use of Luxembourg-based holding companies in recent times as it seeks to boost the amount of revenue taken in. The designers’ lawyers said the two denied the charges and intended to appeal any conviction.
WORLD BANK GIVES HAITI $20M - The Irish Examiner reports that the World Bank has given $20m to Haiti for cleaning up its public resources and making them more transparent. The grant will help Haiti improve public financial management, procurement practices and performance of the national electrical company. It will also create a tracking system to monitor budgets and a single treasury account to manage funds. The grant is the third approved for Haiti by the World Bank since last month. One was for a $70m maternal and child health project and the other for a $20m development and investment project.