Now Santander lets you make payments using just your voice

Users of the bank’s SmartBank app can use their voice to check their account balance, report a lost or stolen card and even ask about transactions to keep an eye on how much they’re spending.Read more: “Alexa, what’s an annuity?” This insurance company is using Amazon EchoFor example the command “pay Joe £10” would transfer money to that person’s account while you can ask questions such as “what’s my balance” and “how much did I spend on holiday”. Like most banking apps, you can only pay people you already have set up.It’s the latest addition to Santander’s voice control functionality which first launched last year. “The worlds of technology and banking continue to evolve at pace, working hand in hand to deliver a friction-free user experience. We are excited to be the first UK high street bank to enable customers to make payments using just their voice, offering them another channel of choice in how they wish to bank,” said the bank’s head of technology innovation Ed Metzger. Read more: Business must embrace voice assistants – or be left screaming Lynsey Barber Several high street banks, including Barclays and HSBC are using voice controls as a secure way of logging into internet banking instead of the traditional password, but beyond biometrics, Santander is the first to add voice as a navigation tool.Amazon’s hit device Echo has pioneered the concept of voice assistants with Alexa helping out at home. And its popularity has signalled a switch from screens to voice as a way of interacting that has caught the imagination of many in technology. Alexa appeared in many of the products demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, and the technology was last week made available in the UK for integration within other products such as cars. Now Santander lets you make payments using just your voice whatsapp Monday 13 February 2017 9:24 am Share More proof that voice control is the future…Santander is now letting customers make payments just by asking their phone, along with several other new functions that work in a similar way to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa “Appetite for simple, intuitive banking solutions has grown significantly in recent years. This pioneering technology has huge potential to become an integral part of the future banking experience, playing a transformational role in the industry and redefining how customers choose to manage their money.” whatsapp read more

Oil and gas tax credit debate rages ahead of legislative session end

first_imgShare this story: Business | Energy & Mining | North Slope | Southcentral | State GovernmentOil and gas tax credit debate rages ahead of legislative session endApril 13, 2016 by Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO and Alaska Public Media Share:The House spent six hours debating oil and gas tax credits Tuesday night. And they’re not done yet – lawmakers will pick up the bill again Wednesday.The debate reveals a deep divide among lawmakers over how to respond to low oil prices – and the resulting state budget gap.The debate on the floor came down to this: Should the state expect oil companies to pay taxes, even when prices are so low they might be losing money? And how quickly can the state scale back its cash support for smaller oil and gas companies?For six hours, members of the Democratic minority offered amendment after amendment – but the divide wasn’t solely along party lines.Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, addresses the Alaska House of Representatives last year. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)Homer Republican Rep. Paul Seaton broke with most of his caucus to propose more aggressively scaling back tax credits for oil production.“I think we need to look at what we’re doing and the hole we’re digging in the budget with these tax credits, for not yielding any production, especially when there is basically zero production tax coming back,” Seaton said. “It’s hard to have production tax credits when there’s no production tax to offset it or ever retrieve that money back from.”Other Republican House members say the bill as it’s currently drafted may go too far in taxing in the oil industry.Big Lake Republican Mark Neuman says imposing a hard tax floor of 2 percent violates the trust of an industry that the state relies upon for long-term investment.“We made commitments to industry,” Neuman said. “We should stand by those commitments. Because if we can’t, we’re saying that we can’t be trusted.”Lawmakers pointed out that the state is scheduled to pay out $775 million in tax credits this year – which is about the same size as proposed cuts to the Permanent Fund dividend.Juneau Democrat Sam Kito says it’s unfair to ask education and social services to take cuts while oil and gas producers are spared.“At a time when we’re telling municipalities that we can’t maintain the revenue sharing program because we don’t have enough money, at a time we’re telling seniors we can’t maintain the senior benefits program because we don’t have enough money, we’re saying, ‘But we can’t change things for the oil companies,’” Kito said.But Republican members note the industry has been laying off workers and has supported the state government for decades. And even if they pay no production taxes, oil companies continue to pay more than a billion dollars to the state, mostly in royalties.North Pole Republican Tammie Wilson says it’s shortsighted for the state to raise taxes on an industry she described as its “bread and butter” when it’s already losing money.“Maybe we need to change our attitudes, and be glad that they did invest here, and we are getting oil down the pipeline. Because I’m telling you guys, (if) that line goes down, we’re going to have real problems,” she said.The bill’s fate remained unclear heading into the second round of debate Wednesday.last_img read more

Haines mayor breaks tie vote to hire interim borough manager

first_imgLocal Government | SoutheastHaines mayor breaks tie vote to hire interim borough managerJanuary 11, 2017 by Emily Files, KHNS-Haines Share:Haines Public Facilities Director Brad Ryan is the new interim borough manager.It wasn’t an easy decision for the Borough Assembly Tuesday night. The assembly was split between Ryan and a retired Juneau city manager.Ultimately, the mayor broke a tie vote in favor of Ryan.Audio Playerhttp://khns.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/11HainesManagerwINTRO.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Interim Manager Brad Ryan. (Photo by Emily Files/KHNS)Haines’ top municipal job was left in limbo about a month ago, when the Assembly fired manager Bill Seward in a 4-2 vote.Since then, borough clerk Julie Cozzi has served as acting manager.Facilities Director Ryan has experience with the interim manager job.In late 2015 he took on the role after manager Dave Sosa resigned.The Assembly gave Ryan a favorable review during his six months as interim. Assemblywoman Margaret Friedenauer said Ryan’s Haines experience and his support from other borough staff make him the best candidate.“That’s what we need right now is consistency, I believe,” Friedenauer said. “From somebody who has proven themselves in this position, that has the high confidence of the staff and the assembly.”Ryan also is interested in the permanent manager job.Other assembly members found an offer from former Juneau city manager Dave Palmer too tempting to refuse.Palmer has a long record of municipal management experience in Southeast Alaska.He is retired now, but he offered to serve as interim to help Haines through its leadership transition.Assembly member Heather Lende said they would be “foolish” to pass up Palmer’s offer.“All of us know that if you mention Haines and government to anybody anywhere, we’ve got a problem.,” Lende said. “We can’t keep managers.”Lende said one reason for the high manager turnover might be that the Assembly doesn’t hire managers based on professional qualifications.The last two managers had no municipal experience.“I’m voting to try to do something about this systemic problem we have with governing ourselves,” Lende said. “And I think the root of it is in not hiring professionals.”Assemblyman Tom Morphet also favored Palmer based on his professional experience.“Brad has great judgment, I think Brad has shown diligence,” Morphet said. “The one area where I don’t think Brad is completely strong in is experience. And I have to agree with Heather. I think we need a manager who can model an example of how a professional manager operates.”Assemblyman Tresham Gregg agreed with Morphet and Lende.He said it might be more disruptive to remove Ryan from his public facilities role, considering the number of major projects the borough is juggling.Mayor Jan Hill spoke up before the vote.She praised Ryan and admonished the assembly for not listening to borough staff members who spoke at previous meetings in his favor.“Brad is committed to this community,” Hill said. “He is invested in this community.”When it came to a vote, the assembly was split. Friedenauer, Ron Jackson and Mike Case voted to hire Ryan. Lende, Morphet and Gregg were opposed.Mayor Hill broke the tie vote in favor of Ryan.At the end of the meeting, resident Mike Denker approached the microphone. He said the Assembly did not follow the borough charter, which states “the manager is selected solely on the basis of professional qualifications.”“The charter says ‘solely on the basis of professional qualifications.’ Plain English,” Denker said. “The charter, the guiding document. Really?”The borough’s executive assistant to the manager, Krista Kielsmeier spoke next. She said “professional qualifications” are not always clear-cut.“What is the value of on-the-ground, Haines experience?” Keilsmeier said. “What is the value of doing the job before? What is the impact of being retired for seven years?”Ryan already has started as interim manager.His contract includes a 20 percent pay increase. That boosts Ryan’s hourly pay to $48, which is equivalent to about a $100,000 annual salary.Speaking by phone Wednesday, Ryan said he was pleased with the Assembly’s decision.“It’s unfortunate there’s a division over it, but I hope we can win everybody’s confidence and move forward,” he said.Ryan said his plan is for Harbormaster Shawn Bell to serve as acting public facilities director in his absence.Assistant Harbormaster Gabe Thomas will step up to acting harbormaster.The Assembly still needs to decide how to move forward with the search for a permanent manager.Ryan is interested, but he’s not the only candidate so far.Haines Chamber of Commerce Director Debra Schnabel also expressed interest.The assembly plans to discuss whether to cast a wider net for the manager job at its Jan. 24 meeting.Share this story:last_img read more

Update: Dunleavy sworn in as governor in Kotzebue

first_imgArctic | Northwest | Politics | State GovernmentUpdate: Dunleavy sworn in as governor in KotzebueDecember 3, 2018 by Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO and Alaska Public Media Share:Update (11:52 a.m.) – Ryan Cunningham, KTOOMike Dunleavy has been sworn in as the 12th governor of Alaska.The swearing-in took place at the Kotzebue Middle School — a deviation from the original plan to conduct the swearing-in in Noorvik, 40 miles east of Kotzebue. Festivities continued as planned at the Aqqaluk Noorvik School, with the swearing-in being shown on television to a crowd in the school’s gymnasium. The governor hoped to arrive in Noorvik later in the day.Update (10:40 a.m.) – David Purdy, KTOOGov.-elect Mike Dunleavy has arrived in Kotzebue after his flight was diverted from the original destination of Noorvik due to weather conditions, according to transition team spokeswoman Sarah Erkmann Ward. The plan is for Dunleavy to be sworn in at Kotzebue Middle School, she said.Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy and Lt. Gov.-elect Kevin Meyer meet at the Ralph Wien Memorial Airport in Kotzebue. Dunleavy had planned on being sworn into office in Noorvik, but weather conditions prevented his timely arrival. The new plan was for Dunleavy to be sworn in at the Kotzebue Middle School instead. (Photo courtesy Matt Acuña Buxton/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)Original story – Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO and Alaska Public MediaThe swearing-in for Mike Dunleavy as governor and for Kevin Meyer as lieutenant governor is scheduled for just before noon today. Dunleavy is scheduled to fly directly from Anchorage to the Northwest Arctic Borough village of Noorvik for the ceremony. It’s where Dunleavy’s wife Rose grew up.More people are expected to be the inauguration than live in Noorvik. That means it took a lot of work to get things ready for the event.More than half a ton of food was shipped into Noorvik for the occasion, and residents provided caribou and salmon. The event is expected to draw up to 700 people to Noorvik’s school. As many as 200 people are coming from other parts of Northwest Arctic Borough and as many as 50 people are coming from other parts of Alaska, according to organizers.Mary Carter chopped onions in the school kitchen on Sunday. She first knew Rose Dunleavy as a sweet and intelligent classmate.“I can’t believe it,” she said. “That the lady of our village is the first lady. And, wow, she’s from Noorvik and she’s my classmate, man. It’s so exciting. I love this. You know, I love every minute of it. To prepare, you know? I’m glad it’s the onions that’s making me cry. I’m so happy.”Aqqaluk High and Noorvik Elementary School principal Faith Jurs said all of Noorvik is happy to host the event.“It means the world to us,” she said. “I hope the rest of Alaska doesn’t mind. It’s a wonderful honor and I think it’s cool. It sends a message that rural Alaska is important. And it is.”She said the event provides a lesson to her students.“Because Rose is from here and because Mike has spent so much of his career in rural Alaska, I think the message is: ‘You can do it. You can do it, kids from Noorvik. You can do it, rural Alaskan kids. You can be the governor of the state, or the first lady of the state,’ ” she said. “And it’s an important message and I think our kids are hearing it.”Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson are staying in Anchorage to work on the earthquake recovery until their terms end. After the earthquake, Dunleavy canceled a snowmachine ride that would have brought him from Kotzebue to Noorvik for the ceremony.Dunleavy will be the third governor to be sworn in outside of Juneau. Sarah Palin and Sean Parnell had their ceremonies in Fairbanks.Then-Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Senate during debate about the state operating budget on March 14, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)The gymnasium at Aqqaluk High and Noorvik Elementary School will host Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy’s swearing-in ceremony on Monday morning. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO and Alaska Public Media)Mary Carter chops carrots in the Aqqaluk High and Noorvik Elementary School kitchen. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO and Alaska Public Media)Rose Dunleavy grew up in Noorvik. Her return for the swearing-in has been a focus of residents’ excitement. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO and Alaska Public Media)1234 read more

Listen: Episode 10: Cancer is a low-down, dirty gangster ninja

first_imgSignal PodcastListen: Episode 10: Cancer is a low-down, dirty gangster ninja @megtirrell Related: Listen: Episode 7: How much are we willing to pay for cures? Related: Related: Episode 5: How biotech went from a risky investment to a booming business Episode 4: A shoppers guide to the genome sequencing market Related: Related: About the Authors Reprints By Luke Timmerman and Meg Tirrell May 5, 2016 Reprints Listen: Episode 9: How our perceptions of risk — and killer snails! — affect our health Related: Related:center_img This week on Signal, we’re talking about the “low-down dirty rat” of medicine. Cancer.Over the past few years, scientists have learned some of the amazing things about what makes cancer such a wily adversary. It’s a master of adaptation, of escape, of armor, and of stealth – basically a ninja of the disease world.For one thing, tumors undergo tens of thousands of genetic changes, which is what helps them build resistance to some forms of chemotherapy. Cancer is also an expert at evading the immune system, our best weapon against foreign invaders. Scientists are experimenting with new types of therapies and drugs that combat some of cancer’s dirty tricks. But the idea that there will be a single magic bullet for cancer may be too simplistic an approach for defeating medicines most complex and crafty enemy.advertisement Episode 6: Choosing scientific sides in the fight against Alzheimer’s The Signal podcast is produced by Katie Hiler.Music: I Knew a Guy, by Kevin MacLeodadvertisement Episode 3: Should we believe published scientific research? Related: Tags cancer Related: Episode 2: For boys with Duchenne, and two drug companies, a moment of shared hope Co-host “The Readout LOUD,” CNBC senior health and science reporter Meg Tirrell Listen: Episode 8: How Wall Street reacts when a patient dies in a clinical trial Molly Ferguson for STAT Episode 1: We are a constellation of our microbiome and ourselves last_img read more

2018 Remembered – Meet the Portarlington woman with five grandchildren representing Laois

first_img Facebook Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ Council RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter New Arles road opens but disquiet over who was invited to official opening WhatsApp Meet the incredible Portarlington granny In June, we did a lovely story about one special granny who had five grandchildren representing Laois this year.It was a dynamite year for the family, may they have many more like it. Grandparents are always proud of their grandchildren no matter what they do – but this Portarlington granny is especially chuffed with the exploits of five of hers.87-year-old Christina Bennett has five grandchildren who are representing Laois at various levels and codes this year.One of her grandsons, Diarmuid, lined out at full back for the Laois U-20s this year in their games against Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.Laois defeated Wicklow but losses to Kildare and Meath saw them fail to progress from the group.His younger brother Cathal is vice-captain of the Laois U-17 team where he is joined by first cousins Mikey Bennett and Daragh Galvin.The Laois U-17 team are unbeaten so far in their Leinster championship campaign.They defeated Wexford and Longford in their opening games before drawing with Carlow before the break for the exams.The U-17s face Kildare tomorrow night in Newbridge where a win will see them reach the Leinster semi finals.While Christina’s granddaughter Eva Galvin is currently gearing up for the Leinster Ladies Intermediate football final on Sunday where Laois will face Wicklow.Eva has represented Laois at all grades and has been recovering from a serious ankle injury she sustained over the winter.The forward had a huge impact on the Leinster semi final comeback win over Wexford two weeks’ ago.Eva came on at half time and scored a great goal with her first touch as Laois came back from six points down to win by one.The Bennett’s have a strong football tradition in Portarlington. Evan, who is Cathal and Diarmuid’s dad, represented Laois at all levels from minor to senior.He won two club championships with Portarlington in 1988 and 1995 – and now coaches within the club.His wife Janet is of course one half of our ‘Port Women’ duo with her sister Ashling.While Mikey father, also called Mikey, represented Portarlington too.Daragh and Eva’s dad Pat, who is originally from Dingle in Kerry, won a Munster minor title with his county in 1982.In 1985, Pat was on the West Kerry team that defeated Feale Rangers to lift the Kerry senior football championship title.Pat then moved up to Laois where he transferred to Portarlington and was also part of the victorious 1988 and 1995 teams alongside Evan.Christina is extremely proud of all of her grandchildren and is gearing up for a very big week.On Wednesday she will shout on her three grandsons in Newbridge and then on Sunday she will be off to Netwatch Cullen Park to support Eva.Daragh Galvin, Cathal Bennett and Mikey BennettEva Galvin Diarmuid Bennett 2018 Remembered – Meet the Portarlington woman with five grandchildren representing Laois By LaoisToday Reporter – 23rd December 2018 Christina BennettSEE ALSO – Laois footballers “just weren’t prepared” for Leinster final, council hears Pinterest Laois secondary school announces scholarship winners for new academic year Home We Are Laois 2018 Remembered – Meet the Portarlington woman with five grandchildren representing Laois We Are Laois Pinterest TAGS2018 RememberedLaois GAA Previous articleIn Pictures: Mountrath primary school get into the Christmas spiritNext articleMan (31) killed in early morning Laois car crash LaoisToday Reporter WhatsApp Community Facebook Community Twitterlast_img read more

REVEALED: Laois footballers’ All-Ireland Round 3 Qualifier opponents confirmed

first_img Facebook Pinterest By Alan Hartnett – 24th June 2019 Pinterest Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory Photo Paul Dargan The Laois footballers will face Offaly in Round 3 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers following this morning’s draw on RTE Radio 1.Laois did not enter the Qualifiers last year until Round 4 but are now just one step away from reaching the stage just before the Super 8s once again.This game is scheduled to take place on Saturday June 29 and Laois are due to be in at home to Offaly but this will be confirmed by the CCC on Tuesday.Laois last played Offaly in Round 4 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers in O’Moore Park in 2006 which Laois won 1-9 to 0-4.Offaly were beaten by Meath in Round 1 of Leinster but have since enjoyed wins over London and Sligo in the Qualifiers thus far.Laois were originally drawn away to Westmeath but because the teams had already met, that could not happen again, so Westmeath were drawn against the next side out, Clare, instead.Laois and Offaly already met in Division 3 this season where goals from Evan O’Carroll and Paul Cahillane helped Laois to a 2-12 to 0-15 win in Tullamore.The Laois footballers recorded a thrilling win away to Derry on Saturday to book their place in Round 3 of the All Ireland Qualifiers.In front of a packed stand in the Derry Centre of Excellence, John Sugrue’s side eked out a 1-13 to 0-12 win to progress. Laois squandered a litany of goal chances in the second half and when Derry struck the front in the final ten minutes, it looked like the game was getting away from Laois.But up stepped substitute Eoin Lowry and he found that killer touch that saw Laois advance to the next round.The winners of these games will be drawn against one of Galway, Meath, Cavan or Cork with the winners of that advancing to the Super 8s.The Round 3 draw in full is as follows:Mayo v ArmaghKildare v TyroneWestmeath v ClareLaois v OffalySEE ALSO – Motorway between Portlaoise and Kildare set for almost 2 month partial closure Home Sport GAA REVEALED: Laois footballers’ All-Ireland Round 3 Qualifier opponents confirmed SportGAAGaelic FootballLaois Senior Football Team GAA GAA Previous articleMoment in Time: Camross were all set for the fleadh in 2005Next articleHistoric 1,100-acre Laois estate goes up for sale with €20 million price tag Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Facebook REVEALED: Laois footballers’ All-Ireland Round 3 Qualifier opponents confirmed WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp GAA Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results Twitter 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin TAGSAll-Ireland Football QualifiersLaois senior footballers Twitterlast_img read more

Laois doctor on vaccine roll-out and what the future holds after vaccination

first_img Twitter Electric Picnic apply to Laois County Council for new date for this year’s festival Electric Picnic Facebook Facebook Council By Alan Hartnett – 11th March 2021 Laois doctor on vaccine roll-out and what the future holds after vaccination WhatsApp Twitter Previous articleCalls made for improved parking and roads at hugely popular Togher Woods in PortlaoiseNext articleLaois teenager making waves with Burnley in the U-18 Premier League Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Home News Community Laois doctor on vaccine roll-out and what the future holds after vaccination NewsCommunitycenter_img WhatsApp The only thing holding up Ireland’s vaccination programme is a lack of supply – so says Laois GP Dr Sumi Dunne.The Portarlington based doctor, who features on RTE’s Operation Transformation, made the comments on Fuel The Future: The Reboot yesterday afternoon.Dr Dunne was joined at the virtual event, hosted by Brian McDermott and Jamie Deasy of Dublin-based agency Fuel, by economist David McWilliams, World Rugby Council member Su Carty and Electric Picnic promoter Melvin Benn. TAGSDr Sumi DunneElectric Picnic RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date Pinterest The panel discussed what the world will look like post-pandemic in the shape of entertainment, sport, public health and business.Right now, according to Dr Dunne, supply is the only thing that is slowing things down.She said: “At the moment we are being caught by supply and that is what has been our limiting step.“So in order to advance the timeline to around 80% of the population by June and a far bigger number by September, we need the supply.“The good news is that we are hoping to get 45,000 extra Pfizer vaccines into the country by the end of the month which is going to help us.“The other big news which will be game changer will be the approval of the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is due rather eminently.“So when you put both into play, together with a population that is keen to get vaccinated, I think we can meet our timelines. But without supply, we can’t get it into the arms of our population and that is where we are caught.”And looking ahead to what the future will look like after Covid, Dr Dunne reckons we will still be wearing masks and practising social distancing for a period of time after vaccination.Something, Dr Dunne says, she would be happy to do if it meant she could go back to live gigs like Electric Picnic.She said: “The Central Disease Control issued new guidelines and at the moment, they are still recommending that fully vaccinated people take precautions like wearing a mask and social distancing.“These are the current guidelines coming from the US which has a far faster programme than us.“We are vaccinating our most vulnerable and have vaccinated the majority of our healthcare workers and residential care staff.“So if we do come back to that wonderful live music that feeds out souls, I would happily wear a mask if I could be in that environment again.”SEE ALSO – Electric Picnic chief reckons Covid-19 vaccine passport ‘inevitable’ when live gigs resume Electric Picnic Mary Sweeney elected Cathaoirleach of Portlaoise Municipal District for next 12 monthslast_img read more

Significance of BoC’s rate cut for individual borrowers in question

first_img Related news Sherry Cooper, chief economist at Dominion Lending Centres, questioned the effectiveness of the rate cut to boost the economy with the big banks only passing on a portion of the reduction by the Bank of Canada. “At the margin, this might boost housing and consumer credit a bit, but these are not the sectors most in need of stimulus,” Cooper said. Moves in the prime rate directly affect the amount charged on loans such as variable rate mortgages and floating rate lines of credit. It’s the second time the central bank cut its key rate this year. When it chopped the rate in January by a quarter point, the big banks also passed on a cut of 0.15 of a percentage point to their customers then, too. Some have raised concerns that lower interest rates will add fuel to the already hot housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto. However, mortgage broker Frank Napolitano noted that the change in the prime rate doesn’t mean people will now be able to obtain larger mortgages because the rates used to qualify a borrower haven’t changed. He estimated that for a $300,000 mortgage, the 15-basis-point cut could save a borrower a total of a little over $2,000 over five years. “From a consumer point, it is better than nothing,” Napolitano said, noting that those with lines of credit tied to the prime rate will also save money. Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said Wednesday the interest rates charged borrowers are affected by more than just the overnight rate target. “All we’re trying to do is have an influence on it,” he said. Cooper said the spread between the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate target and the bank prime rate will eventually shrink, but probably not until interest rates are much higher than where they are today. She said low interest rates have helped squeeze the big banks in recent years and they didn’t pass on the full rate cut to help protect their profit margins. “The banks themselves have come under enormous regulatory pressure to increase their capital which makes their businesses far less profitable,” Cooper said. “They will always in my view want to maximize the gap between what they can charge on loans and what they have to pay for money on the overnight market.” Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Rising interest rates could dampen stimulus impact: PBO Fed warns U.S. financial system remains vulnerable Craig Wong center_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Keywords Interest rates The move by the Bank of Canada to cut its key interest rate will help consumers out a little, but experts say with rates already near record lows, it won’t mean much for individual borrowers. Canada’s big banks trimmed their prime rates by 0.15 percentage points to 2.7% in the wake of the central bank’s move Wednesday to cut its overnight rate target by a quarter percentage point. BoE predicts best economic year for the U.K. since 1941last_img read more

Performance of Athletes has Renewed Interest in Country – Grange

first_imgStory HighlightsMinister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has said that the performance of the athletes in the summer Olympics has renewed international interest in the island.”Jamaica is now centre stage in a number of areas including our tourism, our culture and also in our agricultural products, as foreigners try to discover the source of our success in Beijing, China”, she said.The Minister was speaking at the Jamaica Customer Service Association’s sixth annual conference on November 11, at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, under the theme: ‘Celebrating Gold! Ignite a National Spirit of Service’. RelatedPerformance of Athletes has Renewed Interest in Country – Grange FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Performance of Athletes has Renewed Interest in Country – Grange SportNovember 13, 2008 Advertisementscenter_img RelatedPerformance of Athletes has Renewed Interest in Country – Grange Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has said that the performance of the athletes in the summer Olympics has renewed international interest in the island.“Jamaica is now centre stage in a number of areas including our tourism, our culture and also in our agricultural products, as foreigners try to discover the source of our success in Beijing, China”, she said.The Minister was speaking at the Jamaica Customer Service Association’s sixth annual conference on November 11, at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, under the theme: ‘Celebrating Gold! Ignite a National Spirit of Service’.According to Miss Grange, the athletes’ performance was timely, in terms of opening windows of opportunity for the country. “It is timely because as you know, the world is going through a severe economic crisis and when the economy suffers, social problems tend to be highlighted even more so,” she stated.She noted that the type of exposure that the country is receiving is not one which can be bought cheaply, adding that, “it is much more than we could afford to pay an advertising or promotional agency to do for us.”Noting the theme of the conference, Minister Grange lauded the vision of the Jamaica Customer Service Association, in identifying the link between the athletes’ performance in Beijing, “and the possibility of presenting the best of Jamaica to the world, not only by our sporting prowess but also through excellent customer service.”In the meantime, Minister Grange said that customer service will be a critical element of the National Development Plan ‘Vision 2030’, which is expected to put the country on a path to achieve developed country status by the year 2030 and is based on a comprehensive vision of Jamaica as the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.She added that the guiding principles of the vision will put people at the centre of the transformation process.“The guiding principles prioritise the elements, which are critical for enhancing the quality of life for all Jamaicans and for the country’s achievement of world class standards in specific or predetermined areas,” she stated. RelatedPerformance of Athletes has Renewed Interest in Country – Grangelast_img read more