Murphy's EBS salary broke pay guidelines
THE Department of Finance said EBS boss Fergus Murphy was allowed a salary above Government limits due to his "personal circumstances".
Documents released by the department stated that Mr Murphy was allowed to take a €380,000 salary, which was €20,000 above the recommended pay cap. The comment about Mr Murphy's "personal circumstances" was contained in a speaking note prepared for Taoiseach Enda Kenny. It was released to RTE under Freedom of Information.
A spokesman for the EBS expressed surprise at the remark. He told the Irish Independent yesterday the issue of "personal circumstances" never formed part of the discussions about Mr Murphy's pay deal. His salary was set by the EBS board of directors, based on the Report of the Covered institutions Remuneration Oversight Committee (CIROC), he said.
Mr Murphy had previously earned a salary of €490,000 which was reduced to €380,000. The department claims in the documents released to RTE under the Freedom of Information Act that this was €20,000 more than the pay level it set for the failed building society that is being merged with AIB.
The EBS spokesman said the CIROC recommendations for Mr Murphy were in the region of €360,000. "The board decided on €380,000 which was consistent with the range for Fergus Murphy in the circumstances," he said. It decided a €110,000 pay cut was "sufficient" he said.
Mr Murphy's €380,000 salary was approved ultimately by the Finance Department, he added.
The Department of Finance note also said Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher had a base salary of €633,000, which also exceeds the €500,000 pay cap, "to compensate for the large reduction in base salary which occurred on his appointment and his pension contractual arrangements".
The document said: "Recommendations deal with base salary only, not total remuneration -- for example, the publicly revealed remuneration package for 2010 for the chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank is just shy of €1m."
The department is currently finalising a pay deal for David Duffy, the former ING banker who has now been approved by the Central Bank as AIB's next chief executive. Mr Duffy's package may still top €1m when relocation expenses and pension contributions are added to the €500,000 salary.