EBS head office is moving to AIB Bankcentre
THE head office of EBS is to be amalgamated into AIB's sprawling Bankcentre complex by the end of next year in a bid to extract "operational savings" from the duo's July merger.
AIB executive chairman David Hodgkinson told staff of the move yesterday and said a steering group continued to work on other ways to "avoid duplication" and "pool the resources" of EBS and AIB.
Mr Hodgkinson stressed, however, that EBS would "continue to exist as a separate entity and maintain its own separate distribution outlets" as laid out when the building society became part of AIB.
News of the move is expected to be greeted with some trepidation at EBS's Burlington Road headquarters, where staff are wary of being shunted into a campus where morale is low and legacy issues loom large.
In an email to staff, Mr Hodgkinson said integration savings were being pursued "to ensure that the funds invested by the taxpayer are fully focused on serving our customers".
A spokesman for AIB, which has received about €20bn of taxpayer funds, yesterday declined to say how much the plc expected to save by moving EBS into the Bankcentre.
When AIB announced plans to move some of its own head office functions to Bank Centre in August, the plc said the consolidation around Bank Centre would yield total savings of €18m a year.
Mr Hodgkinson is expected to step down from his executive chairman role at the end of October, when he is likely to be replaced by former ING executive David Duffy.
The Department of Finance has confirmed it revealed a firm proposal for AIB on its next chief executive at the end of last week; a spokesman yesterday said the Department couldn't comment further until the proposal had been "fully evaluated".
The Central Bank yesterday declined to say whether AIB had formally submitted its preferred candidate for review by the regulator.