THE death has occurred of Paddy Weston, the father of Irish Independent Personal Finance Editor, Charlie Weston.
Mr Weston (86) died at his home in Lusk, north Co Dublin, in the early hours of yesterday morning. He is survived by his wife, Gladys, and his children, Charlie, Mary, Ann Julie, Richard and Patricia. Mr Weston was a potter, a local historian and was very well known in north Co Dublin. He was a former radio officer in the British Merchant Navy and owned businesses in the 1960s and 1970s.
ULSTER'S €1.2BN FUND
ULSTER Bank has announced a new €1.2bn fund available for businesses in 2014.
The bank will host a series of support and networking events called 'Ahead for Business', to help business customers with financial planning. The briefings will include information on accessing finance, business planning and cash-flow management. Customers can register their interest on the bank's website.
RYANAIR SHUTS PENSION
RYANAIR has closed its defined benefit pension scheme and will pay €9.7m to eliminate a deficit and provide an additional €2.8m top-up.
The scheme, which was closed to new members 14 years ago, has just 121 active members. They'll now join the Ryanair defined contribution scheme.
AD FIRMS' €26BN DEAL
EU ANTI-TRUST regulators have cleared the €26bn merger of US advertising agency Omnicom and French peer Publicis, paving the way for the creation of the world's biggest advertising agency.
Analysts had expected the deal to trigger tough antitrust scrutiny because of the combined company's strong market share and possible concerns from major clients. The new agency will be better positioned to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook in online ad sales.
THREAT OF UK RATE RISE
BANK of England Governor Mark Carney's interest rate policy may be buckling under the strength of the UK economy.
The fastest growth since 2010 means British unemployment could fall to the 7pc threshold as soon as June, forcing officials to consider raising rates sooner than Mr Carney might like, according to Goldman Sachs. At stake is the strategy that Carney introduced in August that interest rates should only budge once the UK's jobless rate fell below 7pc.