Monday 11 December 2017

PUNT: Surprise? Lenders who aren't playing by the rules

WHISKEY and oil entrepreneur John Teeling was a moneylender, using the proceeds of a small family lending business to fund his college education.

No doubt Mr Teeling will be interested in a report out yesterday from the Central Bank about the moneylender sector today.

Moneylenders, who are legally allowed to charge up to 180pc for short-term loans, are giving cash-strapped consumers new loans before they have paid off existing ones, a probe by the Central Bank has found.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 heavily indebted people are being forced to use legal moneylenders in order to obtain lending as other financial institutions continue to turn them away.

The new inspection by Central Bank officials of nine of the 42 licensed moneylenders in the State has found that most are observing regulatory rules.

Head of consumer protection at the bank Bernard Sheridan said he was concerned about multiple loans being issued to consumers by moneylenders.

As if those people in the Central Bank have not got enough to worry about, the issue of moneylenders comes back into the frame.

But then who can really disparage moneylenders when our own banks have destroyed so much private wealth, overloaded consumers with unsustainable debt and brought the country to the brink of collapse?

Maybe bankers could tell people they are meeting for the first time that they are moneylenders instead of owning up to being bankers.

Etihad sets out its stall as Dublin-Abu Dhabi route tops 1m seats

Etihad boss James Hogan has just been doing the annual rounds with financial institutions in New York and London.

"As part of our briefings we are speaking to institutions from many markets offering diverse products and solutions, so that they know what's on offer and so that we can explain our business and finance strategy in this phase of Etihad Airways' rapid and sustained growth," he says.

It's almost hard to believe that its Dublin-Abu Dhabi route remains the 10th busiest service in Etihad's network.

It was launched in 2007 just as the economy here was headed down the toilet. But just recently, the route surpassed the one million passengers carried mark.

Alacoque O'Connor from Athlone, Co Roscommon, was the lucky traveller in case you're wondering. With an 85pc load factor, the route is profitable. In fact, so enamoured is Etihad with Ireland (it owns just under 3pc of Aer Lingus) that it's also boosting capacity by 34pc on the Dublin route from July.

That could be a challenge to fill, however. Dubai-based rival Emirates launched its service between Dublin and the Gulf emirate last year and increased capacity in May.

While it has been pleased with the performance so far, it said it will take about another year before a clearer picture of profitability emerges.

However, within a year, it had carried 220,000 passengers between the two cities, underlining how popular the Gulf has become as a route to Australia and the Far East.

Dalton flying high as new Shannon Airport director

Dublin-based Pat Dalton has been appointed a director at newly independent Shannon Airport.

According to his filing with the Companies Office Mr Dalton is also a director of A1 Metal Recycling, but that doesn't mean Shannon is heading for the scrapyard.

Dalton's main day job is as chief financial officer of One 51, where he also sits on the board of directors – indeed he sits there alongside Rose Hynes. She happens to chair the board at Shannon, so there'll be at least one friendly face to greet Pat in Clare.

Rose Hynes is also chairman of the board at Bord Gais, where she has been a director since 2006.

By funny coincidence Pat Dalton was chief financial officer at Bord Gais until 2006 – when he left to join Menolly Properties.

Shannon-siders will be pleased to note that Pat is no stranger to the aviation industry.

He worked for GPA Group and its successor from 1992 until 2002

He is a non-executive director of the Irish Aviation Authority.

Rose Hynes's roots in the aviation sector go just as deep – in 1990 she was also at GPA as a member of the management team in GPA Group plc.

Irish Independent

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