Earnings at Barclays’ Irish unit fall, contactless payments surge and WFH debate rumbles on

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The Irish unit of Barclays, which has become the British bank’s post-Brexit European Union hub, saw its earnings fall by more than half last year as it set aside €167 million of net provisions for potential loan losses amid a weakening European economy. The latest annual report for Barclays Bank Ireland shows that its net profit fell by 57 per cent to €100 million, even as total income grew by 19.5 per cent to €1.43 billion. Joe Brennan has the details.

One group worked at home on Wednesdays and Fridays. The other stayed in the office full-time. The result? There was no sign that hybrid homeworking either raised or lowered productivity significantly. But workers liked it and attrition rates fell by a third. Columnist Pilita Clark tackles the working from home debate.

The value of contactless payments surged to a record €17.9 billion last year, a jump of 31 per cent on 2021, as Irish consumers flocked back to restaurants, bars and shops in the wake of the coronavirus, figures from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) show. Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports.


So many things in Ireland don’t seem to be a problem until they’re a crisis, writes Eoin Burke-Kennedy is his weekly column. The Government seems to be in a perennial state of reacting to things that have already spun out of control. Housing and emergency-department overcrowding are the obvious ones but there are major bottlenecks in transport, water, education and mental health services. As a state, we don’t seem to be able to plan.

There is growing consensus that pricing is an issue in the debate about medicine shortages. Many European countries have already taken specific national policy measures to date, writes Sandra Gannon, chief executive of generic medicine producer of Azure Pharmaceuticals, in our weekly Opinion slot.

The Irish arm of French energy giant EDF has “energised” or commenced operating its first three solar farms in Ireland, writes Eoin Burke-Kennedy. The three solar farms, located in Wexford and Kilkenny, have a combined capacity of 17 megawatts (MW), capable of powering the equivalent of 6,600 homes.

Companies that prioritise investing in the health and wellness of their employees are likely to see that pay off in higher productivity and performance of staff, a new survey has found, writes Ciara O’Brien. But change needs to come from the top, and businesses should employ a strategic approach to prioritise the wellbeing of employees, the report said.

Am I due a refund of nursing home fees over late Fair Deal application? Dominic Coyle answers your personal finance questions.

Electric vehicle (EV) sales are accelerating faster than predicted and are now expected to reach 55 per cent of total global vehicle sales by 2030, significantly earlier than previously forecast, according to a new report by consultancy EY, writes Eoin Burke-Kennedy. The study, which highlights six priorities to unlock mainstream EV adoption, said EV sales in Europe are set to eclipse traditional petrol and diesel car sales by 2027, also earlier than expected.

With Amazon announcing a further nine thousand jobs job cuts this week, and Workhuman’s plans to reduce its global workforce by 10%, it could be many weeks or even months before we learn how many Irish roles will be affected. On our Inside Business podcast business and technology journalist, Ciara O’Brien, analyses the latest retrenchment in the tech sector. She also examines the innovation that may arise in the indigenous market as a result, and the potential bounce for smaller tech companies and start-ups. Also, business reporter, Ian Curran, outlines the potential risk of contagion following the bailout of Credit Suisse and the collapse of Silvergate, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the US.