Absentees cost SMEs
absenteeism is costing Irish small businesses over almost €1bn a year, according to a new report by the Small Firms Association (SFA).
Back problems and anxiety or depression are the most commonly cited reasons for absences.
"The direct cost to small business with sick pay schemes is over €490m," SFA executive Alan Sherlock said.
"When you include additional direct costs, such as replacing staff, paying overtime and medical referrals, and indirect costs, such as loss of productivity and the time spent managing absence, the overall cost is close to €1bn."
UK referendum fears
Almost a third of Irish SMEs are concerned that a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union will hurt the UK's economic recovery, according to a new survey by Close Brothers Commercial Finance.
Of firms who are concerned, two-fifths are worried that it will cause uncertainty among inward investors, over a quarter say it will cause them to delay on investment decisions for their business while almost a third are concerned that it could raise doubts about their foreign customers continuing to work with them.
HSBC says sorry
HSBC apologised to customers and investors for past practices at its Swiss private bank after allegations that it helped hundreds of clients to dodge taxes.
Europe's largest bank said in full-page ads in British newspapers that recent media coverage that focused on the Swiss operation and financial affairs of some of its clients had been a painful experience. It said that standards in place today "were not universally in place" before.
"We therefore offer our sincerest apologies," the advertisement said.
RBS conduct costs
Royal Bank of Scotland Group may have to set aside £10bn (€13.5bn) in additional conduct costs, following probes into currency market rigging and US mortgage-backed securities, according to investment bank Keefe Bruyette & Woods.
The UK's largest state-owned lender may take £2.6bn (€3.5bn) of charges to settle foreign-exchange and other regulatory investigations in benchmark rigging, analysts Mark Phin and Richard Smith wrote in a note to clients.
Shareholder lawsuits over a 2008 fundraising just before the bank was bailed out could cost as much as £4.4bn (€6bn), they wrote.