80% of financial organisations in Ireland are expecting widespread reluctance towards returning to the office workplace, according to a survey from the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI)

The survey reveals that a mix of wariness over public health and an overall sense of contentment with working from home will be among the reasons for a hesitant return.


“The results have highlighted a demand amongst respondents for guidance on how employers collect and process their employee’s vaccination information – or indeed, if they do so at all,” said Michael Kavanagh, chief executive of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland, which carried out the survey.

He said there was a sense of urgency about the issue, with close to half of respondents agreeing that guidance should be issued as soon as possible, with a further 42 per cent suggesting it is required over summer.


“For every ten people who were aged 60 or older when we first launched in Ireland back in 2006, there are now fifteen,” Derek Handley, Director, Spry Finance, says. “The family home remains the single biggest asset most of this age group have, and a Lifetime Loan allows them to release some of the value tied up in that home, without having to sell or move out of it.” Year-to-date (to May 12) the CCPC noted a 21% increase in page views to their consumer information on equity release at ccpc.ie when compared to the same period in 2020, but says careful assessment needs to be done before committing to such a loan.


“If you were considering switching provider, two of the lenders you’d have considered were Ulster Bank and KBC Bank, as they were generally offering cheaper rates than most of the other providers and also contributed to switching costs,” says Trevor Grant, chairman of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors.


Drawing down equity from the value of your home is another option, but only Seniors Money/Spry Finance is offering this borrowing facility, and only for homeowners aged over 60.

The percentage size of the loan you can borrow is age-based; the capital and fixed rate interest at 5.5pc is not paid during your lifetime unless the property is sold or left uninhabited for a period of time. The smallest loan is €20,000.

A couple age 70 and 67, owners of a house worth €500,000, can borrow a maximum of €110,000. The longer you live, the greater the accumulated interest – though there is a no-negative equity guarantee.

“Today’s figures reflect the strong demand across Ireland’s property market, particularly from first-time buyers,” said Trevor Grant, chairperson of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors.

“ The slowdown in construction at the beginning of this year will compound the dearth of supply and intensify competition,” he said.


Almost three quarters of businesses in the financial services sector expect to see jobs growth this year, according to a new survey from the Association of Compliance Officers of Ireland (ACOI).

The survey of 250 organisations, answered by ACOI members with responsibility for compliance in financial organisations throughout the country, revealed that as much as 74% of businesses believe the sector will see notable recruitment.

That figure is up from 64% when the same survey was undertaken by the ACOI in September 2020.


While customers on a tracker mortgage should stay put, any borrowers on a variable rate or about to roll off a fixed rate should at least check their options. According to Trevor Grant, Chairman of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors, there is no need for “worry or panic” and that those not on a tracker could stand to make “significant savings” by switching.


Trevor Grant, chairman of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors, described the news as “disappointing” for consumers, removing one lender from their choice of providers.

The departure of Ulster Bank from the Irish market, a process that will take some years, is likely to lead to higher lending and banking costs, and may precipitate a broader move to negative rates on deposits, consumer representatives have warned, as unions fear for the future of jobs at the bank.


Two in five Irish firms say generating new business in the current climate is their main concern this year. This is according to a survey of more than 250 businesses from the Association of Compliance Officers of Ireland (ACOI).

Michael Kavanagh, chief executive of ACOI, said that for businesses things are not getting any easier in either regard. “How to tackle these issues under the continuing spectre of Covid-19 is fraught with difficulties, but it is all our hope that as the year plays out, Government supports, coupled with greater economic certainty and stability, might assist these organisations to rise to and overcome these challenges” Mr Kavanagh said.