Ulster and KBC to close accounts, Bartra’s letter, and Stripe’s job cuts

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland are to press ahead with plans to begin freezing and closing customer accounts over the coming weeks despite concerns raised this week by the competition watchdog and criticism from Gabriel Makhlouf, governor of the Central Bank of Ireland. Ian Curran has the details.

Property developer Bartra, which was founded by Richard Barrett, has complained to Government that local authorities’ planning rules are acting as an “impediment” to large housing projects being built. Jack Power reports on Bartra’s letter to Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien.

Stripe has become the latest big technology company to announce job cuts, with 14 per cent of its workforce set to leave the business. The company employs 500-600 people in Dublin who will be impacted by the cuts, write Ciara O’Brien and Ian Curran.

In Caveat, Mark Paul says Ireland must tread carefully in how it deals with dance-crazed Chinese social media platform TikTok.


In our Agenda feature, Colm Keena examines Johnny Ronan’s web of property companies and discovers that the Irish developer’s US backers are extracting a high price for their financial support of his commercial property operations.

Pretax profits at Northern Irish dairy producer Dale Farm quadrupled in the year to the end of March 31st, as the company recovered from the pandemic and focused on higher returning divisions. But it has restructured its business in the Republic. Laura Slattery has the details.

In his weekly column, John FitzGerald looks back at our 50 years of EU membership and how it helped to broaden and shape Irish economic policy and reduce our dependence on the UK market.

In our work feature, Olive Keogh notes how dealing with fraught relationships at work can be exhausting.

On the eve of the Cop27 climate change conference, FT columnist Pilita Clark says there are grounds for optimism in out battel to save the planet.

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