Seen&Heard: Resignation letters requested in return for business loans

Also: Sheriff to get tough on business rates and Facebook seeks room to expand

Banks are requiring company directors to sign undated letters of resignation as part of the collateral for business loans, the Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post report.

The newspapers name Bank of Ireland and AIB as two banks using the practice, which small business group Isme has labelled "intimidatory". Isme has written to both Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and the Central Bank to complain about the practice. The State has a shareholding in each of the two "pillar banks".

Slow claims clash

The Investor Compensation Company Limited (ICCL), which manages compensation payments to clients of failed investment firms, has complained about the rising costs of winding up Custom House Capital.

The Sunday Times reports that the ICCL has clashed with liquidator Kieran Wallace of KPMG over the slow pace of the process and some of the costs involved. ICCL, which compensates for losses of up to €20,000, says only about 500 of the 1,977 applications for compensation in the wake of the collapse of Custom House Capital have so far been certified by Mr Wallace.


Crackdown on business rates

Businesses that have not paid their rates face a visit from the sheriff and the prospect of docked salaries or denial of State licences, according to the Sunday Business Post. It reports that the State is to give councils extra fast-track powers to target businesses that fail to pay their business rates, as part of a crackdown that aims to raises an extra €269 million over the next two years.

ISS opposes Aryzta appointment

Aryzta faces opposition to its plan to appoint Gary McGann as chairman of the group. The Sunday Independent reports that Investor Shareholder Services (ISS) has recommended that investors vote down the appointment because of concern about the number of directorships the former Smurfit Kappa chief executive holds. Mr McGann is currently chairman of Paddy Power Betfair and a non-executive director at three other listed companies, although, to meet Aryzta's corporate governance rules, he will be obliged to relinquish at least one of those four appointments.

Space for 1,000 required by Facebook

Tech giant Facebook has appointed estate agent DTZ to find a new building with space capable of accommodating up to 1,000 new staff, the Sunday Business Post reports. Facebook, which employs 1,600 people in Ireland at present, can house just 400 more at its Grand Canal Square offices. It hired 300 people last year. DTZ has been told the new offices are needed by 2018 at the latest.