Change culture of banker perks now
LAST year, our biggest bank, AIB, 93pc owned by the Irish State, lost a record €10.4bn. This year, the bank has bought 79 new cars for its employees. Of these, only 52 have gone to persons who need them in the course of their work; the remainder are perks written into the contracts of senior staff.
The Bank of Ireland (36pc state-owned) conducts its affairs on somewhat more modest lines. Last year, it lost a mere €960m, and this year it leased only 59 new cars for staff members. AIB has a total of 536 company cars; Bank of Ireland, 340.
Nearly three years after the blanket bank guarantee -- and with the country still floundering in the crisis to which these institutions have contributed so heavily -- figures of this kind would make any finance minister raise his eyebrows. The lavish perk has come to the attention of the current minister, Michael Noonan.