Thursday 25 December 2014

Insolvency regime in place by February -- Taoiseach

Published 12/10/2012 | 05:00

At the Dublin Chamber of Commerce annual dinner last night were chamber president and Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney, and keynote speaker Niall Fitzgerald KBE.

THE new personal insolvency regime will be up and running by February 1 next year, guest of honour Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the annual Dublin Chamber of Commerce dinner last night.

He said the new regime will give a second chance to those "suffocated" by debt. He added that Ireland's two pillar banks, AIB and Bank of Ireland, were not doing enough for business lending in Ireland.

He warned: "The issue of bank debt will be pursued with great interest and vigour at next week's EU leaders' summit."

The Taoiseach, referring to the EU June 29 Agreement on bank debt, said: "It is of fundamental interest to the people of the EU that when they decide to sign off on decisions, they have to respect them."

Greencore boss Patrick Coveney told guests the debate about whether or not banks are lending is a "dialogue of the deaf" with mistrust on all sides.

The dinner was attended by a capacity 1,800 guests and was held at the National Convention Centre in Dublin.

Guests included Niall Fitzgerald, the Irishman who formerly headed up Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever and deputy chairman of Thomson Reuters, who also addressed last night's packed event.

Broadcaster and journalist Matt Cooper acted as master of ceremonies.

In a mostly upbeat address Mr Coveney praised the latest jobs announcement by Kerry Group and Paddy Power,

"These investments are being made by global, industry leading, highly skilled, technology-driven, Irish companies -- and both positively chose greater Dublin as the best place in the world to locate these critical new functions."

He said Enda Kenny's appearance on the front cover of Time magazine was "perhaps the most visible 'mass market' signal yet of Ireland's enhanced status with peer governments and prospective global investors". However, Mr Coveney also honed in on the lack of credit for small business as a major impediment to a return to domestic growth.

The debt markets are open to big business, but for many small domestic businesses "that market is simply not working". The lack of reliable statistics accepted by all sides in the debate is "outrageous" he said, caused by a fundamental absence of trust between banks and regulators.

Just 207 cases in two-and-a-half years means that no meaningful use is being made of the Credit Review Office, he said.

Irish Independent

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