KBC latest in Irish bank exodus

Belgian-based KBC has become the latest lender to announce its intent to leave the Irish market. The announcement came on the morning of Friday, April 16, and is part of a broader exodus of retail banks from the country. Just weeks prior, NatWest, the UK-based owner of Ulster Bank, stated that it would scale back its operations in Ireland considerably over the course of the next year. KBC is also in talks with Bank of Ireland to sell its existing loans and deposits.

Why have banks been so keen on exiting the Irish loan market? In the case of Ulster Bank, it had been struggling to make returns on investment deemed acceptable by NatWest. KBC’s chief executive, Johan Thijs, stated that talks with Bank of Ireland were being conducted in light of “…the challenging operational context for European banks…” One potential explanation for this trend is the relatively low interest rate environment of Ireland making it difficult for banks to see adequate returns. Further, the market saw a general trend downward from 2015 to 2020, with an average industry …

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The Gender Gap is still Prevalent

The Bank Of Ireland has recently reported that there has been a slight decrease in the gap between the pay received by their male and female employees. However, the bank is still working to reach a 50:50 balance for its workers.  Currently, the bank of Ireland is reporting a gender pay gap of 23.8% across all their departs, which is a 0.4% improvement from the last year. The bank has stated that a large proportion of this comes from the under-payment of their female employees at senior levels and junior grades.

The system that the Bank of Ireland uses to calculate the pay-gap difference is by working out the average pay of all women in the company and comparing then to the average pay of all the men in the company. The Bank of Ireland is currently introducing more flexible ways of working with all employees, as well as pulling career development and leadership programs for their female employees.

It was reported last year that nearly 41% of all senior appointments in 2020 were female, which is an improvement from …

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The interest rate will kill you.

No, not physically but they will hurt your financial goals if you do not completely understand them. When you are starting out on your financial journey you are not trained to look at interest rates. Most of us are just happy we got fifty euros in our pocket when we first start earning money. We know money comes in and goes out. Once we start going to university or getting a credit card that’s when interest rates start coming into play.

Although 2.5% on the paper might look like a small number on the paper, do not be fooled. Interest rates can be one of the biggest deciding factors in your financial life. The difference between a good and a bad interest rate to a car, credit card, mortgage, and so much more can literally be the difference between tens of thousands of euros! It might not seem to be a lot, in the beginning, take caution to your calculations. Even a cellular phone bill can hit you with a damaging interest rate which if you’re straight out of secondary …

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How will the rising of State Pension Liabilities affect you?

Recently, state pension liabilities have been on the rise at around 10% annually, according to a recent studying involving Ireland’s pensions, it claims that pension schemes across Ireland have over €600 billion worth of liabilities. The study analyzes are many Irish households were privately owned by employers and the government, finding that the State pension accounts for almost 60% of all liabilities. Within that, the public sector pensions account for nearly a quarter while the private sector pensions are around 16%.

Overall, the pension liabilities within Ireland has increased by 7%, however, there are still differences in the positions of such schemes. The liabilities of private sector schemes has increased at just over 1%, while the public sector schemes have almost increased by 10% for state pension liabilities. One of the biggest issues is the sustainability of the current State pension scheme and whether the age requirement on the scheme will rise to 67 as previously planned, and then to 68 in 2028.

The study in 2018 shows that Ireland’s total pension liability at that time was equal to 186% …

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Negative Rates the Banks are enforcing

In 2020, Irish citizens managed to put nearly €13.4 billion into banks and credit unions, looking to take advantage of savers. This has driven the household deposit total to up to an all-time high of €124 billion. The build-up in these deposits will stay, but banks are continuously looking to pass on charges they face from the European Central Bank.

The reason why banks are looking to charge negative interest is that banks have been paying the European Central bank to hold their excess funds. In a sense, the money earned from these accounts is not being used to lend out to borrowers and generate revenue for the banks themselves. In addition, the ECB rates have become vegetive as a result to encourage more lending in the market to combat the lull in activity in the market due to COVID. This means that you’re essentially paying your bank to hold your savings, but not getting any return by doing so.

Currently, the only organizations that will be paying negative rates would include businesses, pension funds, and credit unions. The rates …

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Red flag Financial words you should know

Your knowledge is the best defence when it comes to your money.  Therefore, you need to learn tactics and these words to best defend your finances from those who want to trick you. You know best about how you spend, save, and invest your money from the moment you laid on your first euro. These are some words that are completely RED FLAGS.

Deferred Interest

This situation pops up everywhere you go on ads like, “Buy this twenty-five thousand euro car at zero per cent interest rates for twenty-four months!”. But you need to know what type of interest they are offering customers during these situations. There are two main types, waived and deferred. Waived means zero per cent interest rates free and clear, meaning you will not need to pay any insurance on that car. While deferred means customers will still need to pay the interest. If customers do not pay off the amount by the end of twenty-four months or miss a payment …

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Comparing is making us poor.

Look at his new Rolex watch! Look at her new handbag! Everyone compares one another on things they own, wear, eat, and much more. Especially with the times right now with everyone connected through the internet, it is hard to avoid. We are constantly on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube looking at our peers to evaluate how well we are doing in life. We decide our value based on attractiveness, wellbeing, and success as if it measures up against others.

Most of our decision making is influenced by what our friends and family spend and what you think of how they perceive us. Are your expenses really motivated by your actual needs or wants or are they trying to keep up with your peers? Many people spend money they have not earned to buy things they don’t really want just to impress the people they do not like. Do you really want it? Buying things that are not useful or have purpose collects dust and makes our money fly out the window just as well as our value. We know if …

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Ireland’s automatic stabilizers impact on the recovery from COVID

After the 2008 global financial crisis, Ireland’s tax and welfare system aimed to reduce income inequality within its citizens and succeeded in doing so. A research was done by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) found that the automatic stabilizers implemented created a reduction in tax and an increase in welfare payments from the State. This all led to an offset in the rise of income equality.

These automatic stabilizers, which are usually considered a country’s economy’s first line of defence in a financial crisis, reduced inequality at more than just the governmental policies level. Even during the COVID pandemic, many governments have gone a step further with the implementation of the automatic stabilizers by using them as a buffer against the financial shock, and in doing so have introduced a system of direct wage supports to combat the fallen employment rate experience globally.

Recent studies have looked further into the impacts of the tax and benefit policy on income equality in five of the euro zones that were hit the worst economically in the COVID pandemic. These zones …

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How one-bed apartments are destroying Dublin’s docklands

With the hit of the pandemic, many couples have begun disapproving of one-bedroom apartments due to the lack of space to work remotely and live. This has led to many of the properties near the Dublin docklands to drop in demand, essentially leading to that market collapsing on itself.

A report has shown that the rent has fallen an average of 13% on these properties since March of 2020, and even more so than that at the upper ends of the market. But while much of the short-term rentals for these properties fell, the report showed that the supply of the long-term rental units more than doubled. This, in combination with the reduced demand overall due to the COVID restrictions and limiting travelling, has cased the rent to fall in the second the third quarter of last year. The average rent for the properties was €2,312 per month, 6.97% lower than in 2019.

At the end of 2020, during the fourth quarter, the rent costs were able to stabilize due to rising demands mainly fueled by the returning of technology …

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GameStop stock and what’s happening with it

What happened this past week with GameStop’s stock was unprecedented. And markets show that the three largest shareholders in GameStop’s stock have made nearly 2 billion dollars (1.65 billion euro) from the company’s stock rising this past week. The stock hit its high this past Wednesday at $354.83 and rose again on Thursday.

As the largest stockholder of GameStop, Mr Cohen’s now worth a staggering 1.4 billion dollars. In the last two weeks, with the rising of the stock, we calculated his net worth to increase an aver of around 90 million dollars a day. The GameStop Stock has increased more than 1,550% this year.

This sudden increase in the stock has never been seen before. Sure, we saw Tesla grow a hundred times over in the past year, but never has a stock increased so fast continuously in the timespan of a matter of days. On the social media platform Reddit, many small investors have started boasting about their gains from beating Wall Street and the amount of revenue they were able to generate if they caught wind of …

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