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Banks told to cut out luxuries

Banks could offset the need to hike mortgage repayments by shedding flashy accessories such as private dining rooms and limousines, says Fine Gael.

Party leader Enda Kenny says all lenders are expected to follow Permanent TSB, which hit customers with a 0.5pc interest rate rise, adding €66 to a €250,000 mortgage.

He says big banks such as AIB and Bank of Ireland could save €1.3bn if they brought their costs in line with European counterparts.

"That cost-based structure could be reduced by looking at the question of private dining rooms, private art galleries, limousines and all the other excesses that banks and bank boards have put together over the years," Mr Kenny said.

Father denies abuse charges

The prosecution has concluded its case in the trial of a Dublin man accused of sexually abusing his daughters when they were young girls.

The man denies unlawful carnal knowledge, buggery and 19 charges of indecent assault against one daughter and 25 counts of indecent assault against another between 1975 and 1981.

The trial continues.

Banker caught with nude pics

A red-faced banker has been caught looking at racy near-nude photographs on his computer, with his actions broadcast live on Australian television.

The Macquarie Private Wealth employee clicked up the images of Australian model Miranda Kerr, unaware a colleague nearby was doing a live television interview about the Australian economy.

The incident has become a global internet hit with over 200,000 views on YouTube.

Kitten trader pierced ears

AN American woman has gone on trial charged with marketing "gothic kittens" with ear and neck piercings over the internet.

The trial of 35-year-old pet groomer Holly Crawford began in Pennsylvania

Prosecutors say she inflicted pain on the cats to make money. Crawford's home was raided in December 2008 after the SPCA of Luzerne County received a tip-off that she was marketing the animals online.