IRELAND BUCKS THE TREND AS COMPANIES GIVE GENEROUSLY TO CHARITY - Philanthropy in Ireland appears to be alive and well and may be even bucking the trend at a time when charitable donations are down, according to a new study in the Irish Independent. Employees in almost 50 of the country's largest firms volunteered some 162,000 hours to local groups and projects last year, as well as raising more than €3m for causes through various events and initiatives. But which of the big multi-nationals handed over the most? Tech giant Microsoft did if you include the €8.8m it gives in "in kind donations" that would take account of any software and computers it gives to charities - but the figure plummets to €208,177 when cash alone is added up. Drug-maker MSD gave the most cash with €1.8m, but staff in Bank of Ireland raised the most handing over €1.8m and Intel's workforce gave the most time, a staggering 60,000 hours. Last year, 49 firms contributed over €24m - equating to €66,000 a day - to support community groups and organisations in addressing key social issues and causes.
INCOME STREAM OF CONVENTION CENTRE TO BE SOLD - The liquidator of Treasury Holdings plans to appoint an investment bank within weeks to sell the income stream of the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) to a pension or sovereign wealth fund. The value of this income stream has been estimated to be worth between €80 million and €150 million depending on the return appetite of potential bidders, says the Irish Times. It will also include the sale of a plot of land located beside the centre which has planning permission for a new hotel complete with walkway connecting it to the CCD. There are just over 21 years of income to be generated by the convention centre before its operations return to the State, making it attractive to investors looking for predictable annuity income. Joint liquidators Grant Thornton's Paul McCann and Michael McAteer are the joint liquidators of the company called Spencer Dock International Convention Centre Ltd (SDICC) which is to be sold. The sale will not impact trading at the CCD and it will continue to be operated by its existing management team. Bookings by conventions in the centre will also not be impacted by the sale.
IRISH BANKS' INTERPRETATION OF DATA LAWS INVESTIGATED - The Data Protection Commissioner is investigating Irish banks' interpretation of data protection legislation that requires customers to give the bank photo identification. A number of banks have recently been sending letters to customers demanding that they supply their bank with proof of identity, writes the Irish Examiner. In a letter to customers, AIB said that they were required by law to hold copies of either a passport, driver's licence or European National Identity card on file. "AIB's legal obligation to obtain and hold copies of identification documentation for all customers," a letter seen by the Irish Examiner states. Following on from the writing to customers the Data Protection Commissioners office received a number of complaints from customers who felt that the bank had no right to demand the documentation. A spokesperson for the office of the Data Protection Commissioners confirmed that they were investigating the interpretation of the legislation that had been adopted by a number of regulated institutions. Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes is looking at how the banks and other regulated bodies interpreted the Criminal Justice Money Laundering and Finance Act 2010.