Most people believe the Irish banks are not competitive

Ronan Horgan, chief executive of Capitalflow


Two thirds of Irish adults think the financial services market in Ireland is not competitive, according to a new survey.

Business lender Capitalflow, which specialises in flexible finance for Irish SMEs and property investors, revealed the finding in its switcher report last week.

It found only 21pc of Irish adults think the banking or financial services market in Ireland is competitive, compared to 63pc who think it isn’t.

Ronan Horgan, chief executive of Capitalflow, said he believed the reason was not solely related to the number of banks operating in Ireland today.

"It is more fundamental than that, as highlighted only a few weeks ago by the CEO of the Irish Banking Culture Board, when she said: ‘Regulation can and should change behaviour, but it cannot alone change culture. A positive culture requires new ways of acting, must be led from the top and be seen as integral to good corporate governance.’"

Horgan said Capitalflow will have advanced over €1bn in loans to Irish business customers by the end of 2022. He said this meant it heard “first-hand their experiences with the banks”.

"We believe there is a distinct lack of trust in banks. Customers feel they are a necessary evil, rather than a force for good. The culture needs to change, whereby businesses and consumers feel appreciated, where engagement with their banks means they are treated with respect, and their needs come first.”

Capitalflow is now part of bunq, a new digital bank operating in 30 European countries.

Johne Murphy in his Munster shirt in 2014

Former Munster star Murphy finds his Stride

Former Leicester and Munster rugby player Johne Murphy is hoping new sports technology venture Stride can gallop to more success.

Stride is about to close a €600,000 round and is aiming to raise up to €1.5m early next year.

It is a web-based ownership experience and platform which delivers the ownership experience of the horse industry – from the sales ring all the way through to the winners’ enclosure. The platform currently has three syndicate opportunities available. ​Murphy already runs horse racing syndicates, with horses trained by Joseph O’Brien.

Where there’s muck, there’s brass

Waste management company Oxigen Environmental recorded a profit before tax of €3.5m, up over 29pc on the previous year.

The results for the financial period ended April 3, 2022, show Oxigen recorded a turnover of over €37.7m, up from around €33m the previous year.

The average number of employees at Oxigen during the period was 267, up from 254 in 2020.

The firm was set up in 1987 by Sean Doyle to provide waste-service solutions.​

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