Ulster Bank branches to close, Glenveagh’s investor, and ethical pension investing

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

Ulster Bank plans to close its remaining branches in the Republic by the middle of April, as its exit from the State continues. The move will effectively end its presence in Ireland for most people after close to 150 years. Conor Pope reports on the move, and analyses where it leaves the lender as it hurtles for the exit door.

Staying with banking, Bank of Ireland is raising some interest rates in its latest response to the European Central Bank’s move to hike its main rates. Laura Slattery reports.

Glenveagh Homes has had a rough start of the year, after cutting back on its targets for 2023. Now though, Joe Brennan reports that a Swiss hedge fund has built up a close to 19 per cent stake in the Irish listed firm just as a key investor from its IPO reduces its stake.

A unit of Tetrarch Capital has applied to build a cemetery on what was once Citywest Golf Club. As Gordon Deegan reports though, the plans are facing local opposition.


Employers group IBEC will tell an Oireachtas committee today that it backs Government plans to automatically enrol workers in pension schemes, but warns some companies will struggle to meet the required contributions among rising costs. Dominic Coyle has seen the organisation’s opening statement.

In her column, Sarah O’Connor looks how to explain economics in simple terms, after UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt tried to do using coffee cups.

The rush to switch to renewable energy from fossil fuels has led to a supply chain squeeze which is holding up major wind energy projects earmarked for construction. Barry O’Halloran has the story.

Staying with the energy sector, Ciara O’Brien reports on SSE Renewables plans for solar farm in County Wexford.

Ciara also reports that Belfast-based cleantech company MOF Technologies has begun a £2 million (€2.3 million) project that will see it build a test plant to demonstrate its carbon capture technology.

Brianna Parkins looks at ethical investing and while many people don’t want to get in the weeds when it comes to their pension, they can make a big impact on the companies they invest in.

The saga over a parcel of land near St Annes Park in north Dublin continues. Developer Marlet has had a constitutional challenge to what it says was an “irrational” vote by Dublin city councillors to block housing on its north city site has been entered into the High Court’s fast-track commercial planning list.

Staying with planning issues, Gordon reports that a residents’ association and another local have brought proceedings asking the High Court to overturn planning permission for 68 apartments in Donnybrook on Dublin’s southside.

In commercial property, Ronald Quinlan reports that Intercom is to sublet part of its new offices at Earlsfort Terrace to US private equity giant KKR, while Hibernia Real Estate has begun work on its planned development at the Harcourt Square in Dublin now that the last of the Gardai have left the premises.

Ronald also has the details on the Central Bank’s search for a new home for the mint, as well as the buyer of the Donnybrook Mall in Dublin.

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