AIB plans relocation of 1,000 staff to save €18m in annual costs
AIB believes it can cut €18m from its annual cost base by moving 1,000 staff from offices around Dublin city centre to the bank's sprawling head office complex in Ballsbridge.
The savings target is revealed in an internal bank email, which AIB "transformation director" Keith Davies sent to staff last week, to outline details of the relocation programme.
AIB executive chairman David Hodgkinson had previously told the Irish Independent the bank was negotiating with landlords about ways to "improve our use of property from a cost point of view".
In Mr Davies' email, he confirmed that the first staff would be leaving offices in the IFSC and in the Docklands' Riverside building by "mid 2012". Both buildings are leased.
"Other building housing head office functions will be included in the process over its four year schedule," Mr Davies said, adding that the bank would make annual savings of €18m a year once the 1,000 staff transfer across.
As well as the cost savings, Mr Davies also believes the moves would "increase our ability to work together as a single team" and make Bankcentre a "more dynamic working environment".
"Every effort will be made to ensure that these moves are achieved in a way which causes the least possible difficulty and disruption," Mr Davies told workers, while acknowledging that people would have to get used to travelling to a new place of work and "compromises in terms of space".
The office move is one of the most visible parts of a transformation that will see AIB radically shrink its size and reshape its business. The bank is gearing up to begin a 2,000 redundancy programme in October, pending agreement with trade unions and the Department of Finance on severance terms.
AIB has also committed to slimming down its portfolio by some €19.4bn over the next three years, and has a dedicated 'non core' unit to handle the process.
"The [change] programme will take up to four years to complete and will involve a considerable amount of change and innovation across the organisation," Mr Davies told staff, adding that they would "learn more about the programme soon".
AIB executive chairman David Hodgkinson first signalled the bank's property intentions in an interview with the Irish Independent.
At the time he ruled out moving recently-acquired EBS to the campus, saying there were "no plans" to do that.