Tuesday 26 September 2017

Bank reopens 500 accounts each month for emigrants

Research from the Bank of Ireland estimates that approximately 150,000 Irish migrants are due to return over the next three years
Research from the Bank of Ireland estimates that approximately 150,000 Irish migrants are due to return over the next three years
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Bank of Ireland is reactivating 500 current accounts each month for returning emigrants, according to a spokesman.

Research from the bank estimates that approximately 150,000 Irish migrants are due to return over the next three years.

The figures come as the country's largest small firms organisation said regional towns will benefit from a rise in economic activity next year.

"64pc of Small Firms Association member companies plan to take on additional staff and we estimate that small businesses will create 20,000 jobs in 2017," said Sue O'Neill, chairperson of the Small Firms Association.

"These jobs will be in a wide variety of sectors, giving a boost to villages, towns and cities across Ireland."

Meanwhile, another bank released a report predicting a strong Irish economic performance in 2017. Investec's Irish Economy Monitor claims the economy reacted robustly in the fourth quarter after a period of "Brexit-related disruption".

"National accounts data indicates that Ireland is on course to be the fastest growing economy in the eurozone for a third successive year in 2016," said the Investec report.

"While the country looks set to cede that crown in 2017, our 3.4pc forecast increase in GDP next year is still about double the expected growth for the eurozone as a whole."

However, Ms O'Neill said the regional economic growth may not happen if supply-side measures are not completed.

"In order for this job creation to be realised, concrete steps are needed from Government," she said.

"Competitiveness is all the more critical in light of Brexit, and tax competitiveness should be the top priority in the coming year."

The Investec report highlighted growth in housing completions (up 17.4pc) and sales of new goods vehicles (up 22.7pc).

"The key highlight where Ireland's economy is concerned is the labour market," said the report.

"The latest data shows the unemployment rate has fallen to 7.3pc, its lowest level since September 2008, while the total number of people at work has increased by 10.6pc, or 1,000 net jobs created every week, since the trough in 2012.

"While the presence of many large multinationals' operations here means that Ireland's national accounts data is frequently distorted by idiosyncratic factors that bear little relation to underlying economic developments, we would highlight the projected growth in employment, private consumption and investment as pointing to a robust outlook for the 'real' economy here."

Irish Independent

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