BANK of Ireland has increased its overdraft rate for personal customers from 15.9pc to 16.2pc.
The fee for putting an overdraft in place has gone up from €25 to €30. Last November, the bank said it would impose charges on personal customers unless they could keep at least €3,000 in credit in their current accounts.
€39.5m in sales at Caledonian Life
CALEDONIAN Life, the Irish business of the Royal London Group, said it had sales of €39.5m last year, on the basis of the value of new business premiums.
This followed an overhaul of its individual protection products, such as life assurance and specified serious illness cover, after its acquisition by the Royal London Group in July 2011. Contrasting sales from July-December 2011 were £7.2m (€8.9m), the company said.
Move to ratify patents next year
A decision on whether Ireland will seek to ratify a new EU-wide patent system could be about a year away.
The Unified Patent Court, signed yesterday in Brussels by 24 Ministers including Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, will allow business to register their ideas on a Europe-wide basis instead of country-by-country. A spokesman for Mr Bruton said ratification here would require a referendum.
Foreign firms in 71pc of R&D spend
Foreign-owned companies account for almost three-quarters of research and development spending in Ireland, the Central Statistics Office said.
Foreign companies spent 71pc of the €1.9bn that was shelled out on in-house research and development activities in 2011, the CSO added. About 86pc of this was spent on wages while 14pc went on land and buildings.
Economist warns of risk to stability
A LEADING British economist has warned that economic and political stability will be at risk unless structural reforms of the financial sector are implemented.
Author, academic and 'Financial Times' columnist John Kay told the Institute of International and European Affairs that governments should be tackling issues on the structure of the industry and the nature of regulation. "If we don't address this in some more serious way, we risk problems that will jeopardise not just our economic stability, but our political stability as well," he said.