DELOITTE PULLS AHEAD OF PwC IN IRISH MARKET - Deloitte has overtaken rival PwC to become the second largest of Ireland’s "Big Four" accounting and professional services firms.

The Irish arm of the global firm recorded a 14% increase in revenue to €285 million last year, pushing it into second spot behind KPMG in the rankings here. All three of its main business areas - accounting, tax and consulting - experienced double-digit growth on the back of what the company described as a big upswing in business activity, writes the Irish Times. The firm’s largest business unit, consulting and advisory, generated a turnover of €133 million, which was 14% up on last year. Deloitte managing partner Brendan Jennings said revenue in this area was driven by demand from companies for advice on how best to adopt and leverage new technologies. A pick-up in mergers and acquisitions activity in the Irish market was also driving demand for consultancy services, he said. Changes to the global tax environment arising from the OECD’s Beps (base erosion and profit-shifting) had generated greater demand for its tax advisory services, Mr Jennings said, with revenue from this unit increasing 15% to €51 million. "Businesses are trying to make sure that their tax structures are aligned to their business model in this new evolving tax area," he explained.

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ARROW BUYS MARS CAPITAL IN BID FOR GREATER SHARE OF IRISH LOANS SECTOR - Ireland's highly profitable loan-servicing industry looks set for a shake-up after Manchester-based company Arrow Global yesterday snapped up Oaktree's Irish servicing platform, Mars Capital, for £15.5m (€16.8m).

The move comes as the banks enter the final deleveraging phase and prepare to cast off billions of euro worth of bad debts amid heightened pressure from the European Central Bank, says the Irish Independent. AIB and Permanent TSB are both readying large-scale loan portfolios for sale over the coming months, marking the first significant activity in the space in almost a year. Arrow intends to use the Mars Capital platform as a springboard for a greater slice of the Irish market, a push that will be led by the firm's existing management team headed by Kevin Blake. Mr Blake said the sale to Arrow enables the loan servicing arm to pitch for business from companies other than Oaktree. The US distressed debt and private equity giant has been among the most aggressive of the international players in acquiring billions of euro worth of soured loans from Nama and the banks. The deal frenzy resulted in Mars Capital managing large volumes of mortgages, including those originated by Irish Nationwide Building Society and Permanent TSB's one-time subprime unit, Springboard.

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CREDIT UNION LOANS THROUGH FACEBOOK - Up to 20% of loan applications in some credit unions are now coming through Facebook, a body representing the sector has said.

The Solution Centre in Dublin, which is managed by the Credit Union Development Association, said business with younger customers had "increased 10-fold" since it began introducing digital loan services, reports the Irish Examiner. Credit unions involved in the Solution Centre include Tullamore in Offaly, St Anthony’s and Claddagh in Galway, Dundrum in Dublin, as well as St Canice’s in Kilkenny, which is the biggest community credit union in the country. The association said Facebook was now accounting for up to 15% to 20% in loan enquiries per month for some credit unions, and that close to half of those applying within social media to take out a loan had never borrowed from a credit union before. Credit unions participating in the digital loan marketing programme have seen loan growth of 15% to 20% in a relatively short space of time, it said. The Facebook Loan process involves a 30-second enquiry online, followed by callbacks from lending officers to explain terms and conditions. More credit unions are getting onboard following a pilot phase, said the association.

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NON-DOMS PAY AVERAGE £105,000 IN UK TAX EACH YEAR AND LIVES IN LONDON - The typical 'non-dom' in the UK is based in London and pays more than £100,000 in tax a year, according to the most detailed figures voluntarily issued by HM Revenue & Customs.

Non-doms are usually people who are resident in Britain but claim their domicile is overseas. That status enables them to pay no tax on their offshore income and capital gains unless the money is brought into the UK, says the Financial Times. The Revenue said there were 121,300 registered non-doms in 2014-2015, 1% compared with the previous year, and together they paid a total of £9.3 billion in income, national insurance and capital gains taxes. Of those, 85,400 were resident in the UK during that tax year, paying £9 billion in tax, or an average of £105,000 each, in a reflection of the scale of income they generated in the UK. Non-doms based in London and the South East contributed 86% of all the tax paid by those 85,400 people, according to the data.