Wednesday 16 April 2014

BoI boss caught up in political storm over €10m pension pot

THE €390,000-a-year chairman of Bank of Ireland, Archie Kane, has become embroiled in in a row over his pension pot of €10.7m as a former executive director of Lloyds TSB, which received a multibillion bailout from the UK taxpayer.

John Mann, a Labour member of the Treasury Select Committee, called for Kane and other British banking bigwigs to give up part of their pensions. "These huge pensions are a reward for failure," he said. "The banks have not got the message at all. They presume that one way or the other they will get away with their role [in the crisis] – and these pensions demonstrate that, in a way, they have got away with it," Mann added.

Kane became chairman of Bank of Ireland earlier this year and the bank declined to comment on whether he was prepared to give up part of his UK pension.

Kane was named last week in the Times of London as one of 10 bankers the newspaper termed "tarnished bankers," with promised large pension pots from banks which were bailed out by taxpayers.

Reacting to the list, Brian Binley, a Tory member of the Business Select Committee, said: "The banks have learnt nothing. They are not stakeholders in the nation's wellbeing."

On Friday, Britain's Commons Public Accounts Committee warned its politicans that more than £66bn of taxpayers' money invested in RBS and Lloyds TSB may never be recovered.

The UK controversy echoes the ongoing row here in Ireland where failed bankers such as Eugene Sheehy, the former chief executive of AIB, are paid big bucks despite the taxpayer being asked to cough up billions.

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