Tuesday 27 September 2016

Former Central Bank boss has €175k annual pension

Sam Griffin

Published 23/05/2015 | 02:30

John Hurley, former governor of the Central Bank, arrives at the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry at Leinster House this week. Photo: Tom Burke
John Hurley, former governor of the Central Bank, arrives at the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry at Leinster House this week. Photo: Tom Burke

Former Central Bank governor John Hurley, who this week told how he backed the Government’s decision to issue a blanket bank guarantee, enjoyed a retirement payment of €525,000 and a pension of around €175,000 every year.

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This is more than twice that of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern’s pensions and makes him one of the highest pension earners to appear before the Banking Inquiry.

Mr Hurley retired in 2009 after seven years at the helm of Ireland’s anking sector.

His time in charge coincided with the collapse of the sector, and he was one of those in attendance on the night of the bank guarantee in Government Buildings.

This week Mr Hurley told the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry that it was believed if the guarantee had not been issued, the whole sector would have become unstable.

He said nationalising Anglo Irish Bank was considered on the night of the guarantee, but risks of contagion resulted in the decision to protect all banks.

“There was a strong view on the night that the government had one opportunity to assuage the markets,” he said.

“If the decisions taken were considered inadequate and failed, the consequences for the banking system would be devastating and lead to very serious economic and social fallout for the country as a whole.

“I supported the decision taken as being the one most likely to ensure that these

consequences for the banking system and the country would be avoided.”

Commenting on Mr Hurley’s pension entitlements, Independent TD Finian McGrath told the Irish Independent the sums paid out to senior bankers was “outrageous” and “totally unacceptable”.

“This is an appalling situation to see these people with these fat pensions, and it’s particularly galling when we consider the way they handled the banking crisis,” he said.

He said the massive payouts “are totally out of sync with how people are hurting at the moment”.

He added that many people had suffered as a result of the way our banks were managed.

The latest figures show that Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern were paid pensions of €80,000  last year.

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