AIB trader gets permission to enter final judgment over denial of bonus
A TRADER in AIB's capital markets division has received permission to enter final judgment against the bank over its failure to pay him a €161,000 bonus for his performance during 2008.
John Foy, of Newhaggard Lane, Trim, Co Meath, yesterday got liberty from the Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan, to enter final judgment in that sum against AIB. The Master's role involves management of cases before they get to hearing in the High Court and AIB did not oppose yesterday's order.
The Master was told that at least 90 similar actions are pending against AIB involving claims likely to exceed €10m and Mr Foy's action is regarded as a test case for the others.
The failure to pay the 2008 bonus was causing him and his family "unjustified hardship" as it formed most of his remuneration, Mr Foy claimed. He was employed in 2005 on a basic salary of €75,190 a year, he said.
Mr Foy is one of 90 traders in the division who have taken similar actions arising from the bonuses being withheld under the Government's bank guarantee scheme.
AIB has also not paid the staff bonuses for 2009 and may face further proceedings over that.
AIB ceased paying bonuses after a government-appointed committee recommended no bonuses be paid for 2008 and 2009, but after legal actions were initiated by overseas capital markets staff, it did pay "contractual bonus entitlements" for 2008 to those staff and other foreign units.
Employees of the capital markets division (CMD) in Ireland were told on various occasions since early 2009 that the bonuses were being deferred and most initiated actions last summer.
In his proceedings, Mr Foy said he began employment with AIB in early 2005 as a dealer in the CMD and was made permanent in April 2006. His contract included a provision for an annual bonus payment.
Mr Foy said Colm Doherty, then managing director of AIB and then head of the CMD, had told staff in April 2009 that the bonuses for 2008 would be paid as the bank was contractually obliged to do so.
Mr Foy said he wrote to AIB on March 26 seeking payment of the 2008 bonus and stating there was no basis for the involvement of the Department of Finance in determining when or if that bonus would be paid.