Thursday 12 December 2019

The Punt: Rally over rising insurance rates

Mike Anysley
Mike Anysley

The roads leading to Dublin from all parts of the country are set to be busy this Saturday.

Drivers from all four corners of the State are set to rally in the city centre at around noon to protest at soaring motor insurance rates.

Up to 6,000 cars are expected to travel to the event, being co-ordinated by Kerry travel agent Kian Griffin.

This could mean up to 15,000 people rally over rising insurance rates, assuming three people to a car.

The sheer cost of motor cover prompted Mr Griffin to organise the monster rally in Dublin to protest about what is going on and decry the lack of action from the Government and the regulators.

Mr Griffin is 24 and drives a 15-year-old car. This means he gets hammered on his motor cover.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has been invited to speak, but there is no sign yet that he will be there.

However, among the speakers set attend are Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath, Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, and the Punt's colleague Charlie Weston, who has been highlighting issues with motor insurance and warning of rising premiums for two years.

The plan is to send a message to the Government and the Central Bank that action is needed now to change some of the factors driving premiums up.

Carney coming under pressure

Mark Carney's been at the helm of the Bank of England three years this week, and Bloomberg is now wondering whether it's time he departed.

The 51-year-old Canadian said he will likely realise that his credibility is in question after Britons pushed aside his repeated warnings over the economy and voted to quit the European Union.

That decision not only forces Carney into another round of financial fire-fighting, but hands a victory to those pro-Brexit politicians who attacked him during the campaign for scaremongering and accused him of favouring the Remain side.

With Prime Minister David Cameron stepping down, his successor could even be one of those critics.

"Politically, Carney is now in a very difficult position," David Blanchflower, a former BOE policy maker now at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, told Bloomberg Television.

With pressure on global stocks and the value of the pound, a departure by the head of the UK's central bank could do even further damage.

Aynsley to help out the Greeks

Mike Aynsley, the former chief executive of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation - previously Anglo Irish Bank - has been made a non-executive director of the National Bank of Greece.

His appointment was ratified by the board a few weeks ago ahead of the bank's annual general meeting in Athens this Thursday.

Shareholders will also be asked on Thursday to approve Aynsley's appointment to the audit committee of the bank.

An Australian, Aynsley (pictued below) was appointed CEO of IBRC in September 2009, and held the role until February 2013, when the toxic bank was liquidated by the government.

Early this year, he was appointed a non-executive director of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities. In 2014, he was appointed a non-executive director of Dahabshiil, Africa's largest money transfer firm.

He co-founded Prospera, a consultancy specialising in distressed bank and corporate restructurings.

He founded it with Richard Woodhouse, who was IBRC's head of specialised asset management.

The Bank of Greece made a €4.27bn loss last year, fuelled by impairment provisions.

Irish Independent

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