herald

Saturday 30 August 2014

Four of AIB's fat cats get over €400k a year

FOUR top executives at nationalised AIB are being paid more than €400,000 a year, new figures reveal.

The figures show that by last December AIB, wholly owned by the Irish taxpayer, also had eight staff being paid from €300,000 to €399,000 a year; 44 others on €200,000-299,999 and 134 earning between €150,000 to €199,999 a year.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan, in figures given to the Dail, also said there are 24 Bank of Ireland staff being paid more than €400,000 each a year.

The number of staff on salaries of more than €400,000 a year at AIB will drop to two at the end of this year, including chief executive David Duffy, who has implemented a 15pc pay-cut for top managers since taking control of the bank this year.

The figures show that at Bank of Ireland, 150 individuals are earning between €150,000 and €300,000 per year. Nineteen are paid between €300,000 and €400,000 while 24 get in excess of €400,000.

Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher's pay package, including salary and allowances, is €831,000.

The revelation follows confirmation this week that another top executive at the former Anglo Irish Bank will receive a pay package of more than €500,000.

He becomes the seventh official at the State-owned bank, now the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) on such a salary.

Mr Noonan said at least "one high profile pensioner" at AIB had made a significant contribution after the bank's chief executive, David Duffy, wrote to all such pensioners asking them to voluntarily return part of their payments.

Last week, Eugene Sheehy, former AIB chief executive, took a major cut in his reported pension of €500,000 a year.

Mr Noonan said that "week after week, people right across the public service are yielding up part of their emoluments to the State".

He also said the Government shared public outrage at salary levels but the scope "for action to claw back or reduce such entitlements is limited due to constitutional and legal reasons".

However, Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said 165 top executives at Bank of Ireland and AIB are receiving salaries in excess of €200,000 a year; 55 of them are earning more than €300,000 a year; and 28 more than €400,000 a year.

"It is my understanding that the minister has not written to the management of either bank asking for voluntary reductions in the excessive salaries of any of these 165 individuals," he said.

He accused the Government of "fake outrage" and said it was unacceptable to have such salaries at institutions in which the State has a share.

Mr Doherty said: "Despite all his bluster, he is adopting a Pontius Pilate approach to excessive bankers' pay."

"Public and private sector workers have seen their salaries and pensions reduced significantly since the start of the crisis," he said.







Broke

The vast majority of these workers were on low to middle incomes.

"Yet the Government continues to protect the excessive pay and pensions of top bankers, many of whom played leading roles in the events that caused the economic crisis in the first place."

Mr Doherty, who also asked about pay rates at the Bank of Ireland, said: "It is time to wake up. The country is broke and the minister cannot afford to pay someone a basic salary of €500,000."

He added that Mr Noonan "will ask people within three weeks to take more pain, despite the fact that they did not cause the crisis and yet somehow he justifies bankers receiving pay packets of €500,000 under his watch".

Rejecting the claims of "fake anger", Mr Noonan said AIB's chief executive had imposed pay cuts on staff "at all levels".

mlavery@herald.ie

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