Friday 24 November 2017

AIB's new head of retail & business banking

AIB Headquarters Dublin
AIB Headquarters Dublin

Joe Brennan

AIB has appointed Robert Mulhall to head up the State-owned lender's largest division as the government said it expects to recover as much as €4bn of cost of saving the bank over the next year.

AIB veteran Robert Mulhall had worked with AIB for 18 years before joining Accenture in the US in 2013.

Mr Mulhall will now return to the bank as director of retail & business banking in Ireland next month.

That job became vacant when the previous incumbent, Bernard Byrne, took over as group chief executive officer in May.

The retail & business banking unit was set up this year, encompassing the AIB operations most stricken by the property crisis that forced the lender into a €21bn bailout.

It has also been at the centre of the group's efforts to return to profit, delivering more than three-quarters of AIB's €1.2bnb first-half operating profit.

Mr Mulhall's appointment comes after the Government signalled it may not start selling shares in AIB until after the General Election next year.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan told reporters yesterday that he expects to recoup €3bn to €4bn even before selling the shares.

The initial recovery from the bank will come from AIB repaying the State's €3.5bn so-called preferred stock and €1.6bn of contingent convertible notes, two forms of debt, as well as the bank returning to paying dividends for the first time since 2008.

The plan, which may see some cash returning to the State before the end of this year, would be subject to approval from the European Central Bank's bank supervision unit, which could potentially delay any deals, Mr Noonan said.

However, a restructuring of AIB is already under way, the minister said. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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