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Finance Magazine - March 2002 Issue

There is scope for tax cut promises say economists
A panel of leading economists says that there is scope for tax cuts in the next five years.
Single market in financial services should be given high priority and increased urgency
Report highlights the need for a new political push for financial services integration in Europe and claims that consumers are loosing out because of the slow pace of change.
Cautious welcome for legislation proposals
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) has welcomed the publication of the draft heads of the Companies (Audit and Accountancy) (Amendment) Bill.
Never too late
The Central Bank might be accused of jumping on the bandwagon too late by requiring banks to carry out independent assessments of their risk system controls, and to report back on their findings, in the wake of the Allfirst debacle.
While the euro has been a success, work remains on creating a single market for financial services
The introduction of the euro has helped lower a number of technical, regulatory and psychological barriers that in the past have segmented Europe's financial markets along national lines. Moreover, the recent compromise struck between the European Parliament and Commission on the Lamfalussy Report holds out the welcome prospect of faster progress on regulatory harmonization. However, the magnitude of what remains to be done should not be underestimated says Anne Kruger.
Forensic accounting
The term forensic accounting was first used by Robert Lindquist in 1996, a Canadian accountant, to describe the special combination of skills applied in preparing and reviewing financial evidence.
Guidance promotes proactive communication
Guidance for auditors of banks in Ireland issued in February by the Auditing Practices Board will contribute to improved communication between bank auditors and the Central Bank, according to the country’s largest accountancy body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI).
New publication launched
A pocket book summarising accounting standards generally accepted in Ireland as of January 1, 2002 has been launched by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
New service to help companies at risk from US audit rules
Irish accounting firm BDO Simpson Xavier has launched a business division that will target companies effected by tighter US regulations on auditors.
Economists support private funding of capital projects
Private sector funding of capital projects should be encouraged, say Ireland’s leading economists, providing that the returns are sufficiently attractive.
Effective risk management controls can bring continued success to companies or lead to their downfall
This month’s special feature focuses on ‘The risks companies face’ and looks at the threats that both external and internal factors pose for Irish companies. Gerry Fitzpatrick examines the role of operational risk within companies and outlines how well prepared Irish companies are, while Richard Pike looks at risk management in an asset management context. In light of recent events at AIB’s subsidiary Allfirst, Donal Galvin addresses the risks treasurers face and Conor Griffin says that the deteriorating credit environment means that credit risk will be bankers number one concern in 2002. Orla Brennan, in her article on how domestic regulation will impact organisation’s risk management systems, says that strict compliance to an evolving regulatory environments means that companies have to devote more resources to manage their exposure to risk.
Asset mangers need to embrace risk management to remain competitive
Richard Pike outlines the relevance of risk management in private banking and asset management, and says that implementing a detailed risk management structure will aid in keeping clients and winning new business.
Credit risk will be the major preoccupation on the banking horizon in 2002
The past year was turbulent and credit risk issues were to the fore for finance professionals. This does not look like changing says Conor Griffin and the rating agencies expect 2002 to be another year of record defaults and mounting problem loans, peaking in the third quarter.
Unauthorised trading is the biggest risk treasury departments face
In recent times, there have been several high profile rogue trading cases. Donal Galvin says that in order to avoid the severe damage these cases caused, treasury departments need to implement key control activities such as reviews of operating performance, as well as adequate and effective audit programs.
Burden of increased regulation puts onus on risk management
The volume of recent and pending developments in domestic regulation and the apparent trend in these developments towards strict compliance will have a significant practical impact on those responsible for risk management in Irish financial institutions says Orla Brennan.
Great opportunities in the Dublin captives market
The captive insurance sector in Dublin is continuing to grow due to an evolving regulatory system, and Ireland’s location in Europe says Paul Cotter. It now offers great opportunities for captive managers.
The scope for tax cuts is spelled out
As the political parties draw up their election manifestos - one (or two) of which are likely to be the primary foundation of economic policy over the coming five years we compile the policy recommendations on a series of central economic issues in the election from a panel of professional economists, whose job is to get policy and forecasts right on a consistent basis the economic advisers in Ireland?s financial services industry. The survey results have been mailed to the policymakers of all of the political parties, as well as each TD and Senator in the Oireachtas.
Property Tax Measures
The Minister’s attack on reverse premiums and on VAT on leases overshadows a large number of property provisions in the Finance Bill. Increasingly tax incentives for property are curtailed, and tax obstacles to property transactions remain.
Plucking the business goose
The Finance Bill requires Irish companies to pay six years’ tax over a five-year period. In addition the arrangements by which they will make these payments are such as are likely to expose many compliant tax-paying companies to interest charges on overdue tax. This will be despite their honest endeavours to meet the legal obligations.
Fodder for the Bertie Bowl?
Professional sports persons do have a real need for a tax relief. Their need has been made more acute by previous legislation introduced by the Minister for Finance. But is the Minister’s solution the appropriate solution, and does the problem extend beyond high profile athletes?
An introduction to hedge funds
Key characteristics
Matching the monkey
Ronan Smith, head of index investing at Bank of Ireland Asset Management spends a busy day developing the growing business of offering indexation services to pension funds.
Who’s who in Finance: Bill Handley, Managing Director, Barclays Bank Ireland
Panellists disagree on likelihood of an ECB rate cut
Each month, the Finance Markets Panel, which consists of leading Irish market participants and analysts, provide views on key financial markets, covering currencies, equities and the gilt markets.
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