So-called public interest directors were appointed by the Government to the boards of each of the banks bailed out with €64bn of taxpayers' money.
Each bank has two public interest directors and in each case they are a former government minister or a retired senior civil servant.
Since 2008 the public interest directors have been paid in excess of €2m in fees.
All are retired and thought to be on publicly funded pensions of more than €100,000 a year, in addition to the fees they get for working at the banks.
They were not put in to be consumer advocates, or to directly implement government policy.
The idea was to appoint senior people who would keep an eye on the banks, with an informal connection back to the minister.
No formal guidelines were drawn, however, and until now the directors have never reported back to anyone, despite some being in place for four years.
The highest paid of the state-appointed bank directors is Michael Somers. He has received close to €250,000 from AIB since 2010. It is in addition to his public sector pension of €265,000 a year.