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Aer Lingus union threatens industrial action over pensions

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Aer Lingus' <AERL.I> largest trade union is to ballot for industrial action after talks broke down over a shortfall in a staff pension scheme, a union official said on Friday. The pension scheme, which employees at Aer Lingus share with other aviation industry workers, has a deficit of over 700 million euros ($956 million). Aer Lingus says it is not legally obliged to help fund the scheme, but has offered to make a once-off payment of 140 million euros to the scheme, a figure SIPTU says is not sufficient.

Post-bailout Ireland turns focus to banking hangover

By Padraic Halpin and Laura Noonan DUBLIN/LONDON (Reuters) - With liberation from Ireland's three-year bailout getting closer by the day, the banks which drove the country into the arms of the EU and IMF are once again taking center stage as Dublin tries to turn 11 billion euros ($15 billion) of its banking assets into hard cash. That mission got off to a promising start on Wednesday with the announcement of the sale of 1.8 billion euros of the state's Bank of Ireland (BoI) <BKIR.I> preference shares.

Colombia financial regulator removed from post over Interbolsa debacle

By Helen Murphy and Nelson Bocanegra BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's inspector general said on Thursday the government's financial regulator had been removed from his post and banned from holding public office for 12 years after the collapse of the country's largest brokerage. The decision was taken after an investigation into whether the financial watchdog failed to properly monitor the brokerage Interbolsa in the months leading up to its financial implosion last year.

FSC to curb financial units' funding of parent firms

SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Yonhap) -- Financial arms of large enterprises will face tougher restrictions from next year in funding their parent firms against default, the financial regulator said Thursday, in a move to close the loophole through which conglomerates divert their affiliates' assets to avert liquidity squeeze. Money-lending units affiliated with conglomerates will only be able to offer their largest shareholders loans of an amount equivalent to 100 percent of their equity capital, beginning in the first half of 2014, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said at a briefing.

Canadian home prices in for a soft landing, overvalued by 26 per cent: Fitch

TORONTO - Sky high prices in the Canadian real estate market won't be climbing for much longer, says a report by global rating agency Fitch Ratings. The agency forecasted Tuesday that home prices across the country are in for a "soft landing" and will either flatten out or slightly decrease over the next five years. It estimates that current prices are overvalued by up to 26 per cent in some regions and could fall by as much as 10 per cent in some places.

Exclusive: New UK financial regulators face surge in staff turnover

By Steve Slater LONDON (Reuters) - Staff have been quitting Britain's financial watchdogs at nearly twice the rate since they were split into two bodies this year, data seen by Reuters shows, at a time when experts warn of a regulatory brain drain in Europe's biggest financial hub. Britain broke its financial regulator up into two separate agencies in April to ensure stricter scrutiny of banks and markets in the wake of the 2007-09 financial crisis and a series of costly scandals involving bankers' misdeeds.

Regulator strengthens inspections of major four banks

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's financial watchdog has beefed up its inspections of the four major local banks in an effort to root out alleged irregularities in the banking sector, sources said Tuesday. In a rare move, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has started its probe into Kookmin Bank, Hana Bank, Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank all together in a bid to look into whether they might have been involved in suspected illegal activities.

After bailout, Ireland goes back to building houses

By Sam Cage SWORDS, Ireland (Reuters) - When 20 newly built family homes went up for sale in this Dublin commuter belt town in September, queues started three hours before the viewing opened on Saturday morning. "By Sunday evening there was nothing left," said Brian McKeon, head of MKN Property Group, which built the units on a quiet and leafy dead-end street in Swords, a town of 40,000 near the Irish capital's airport.

Regulator to curb financial units' lending to owners

SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Yonhap) -- The financial regulator is pushing to curb lending by financial firms affiliated with the country's conglomerates to their controlling shareholders amid criticism that group owners and their family members use such financial arms as private coffers, officials said Tuesday.

NY's top bank regulator promising oversight of consultants using old statute

ALBANY, N.Y. - New York's top financial regulator has promised more oversight of bank consultants, including large accounting firms, citing an old, ignored state law that gives his office "the power to drive reform." Addressing a conference on corporate responsibility this week in Binghamton, Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky said consultants are hired by banks to straighten out problems but can be conflicted taking tough stands with the clients who pay them.
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