Sunday 15 December 2019

Bank of Ireland's Richie Boucher told his €843,000 pay packet is 'disgraceful' at AGM

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher was told his pay packet was "disgraceful" at the bank's annual general meeting today.

Mr Boucher's pay package of €843,000 needs to be approved by the Government at today's meeting.

Shareholder William Malone labelled it a disgrace.

He said it was a" disgraceful amount of money to pay" Mr Boucher.

The Government pay cap of €500,00 doesn't apply to Mr Boucher because he was hired before it was introduced.

The bank boss was also urged by another shareholder Dermot Carroll to"treat people decently" and told making a profit should not be the over-riding objective of the bank.

Mr Carroll, the owner of the Secret Book and Record Store in Dublin, said he was unimpressed with the way in which Mr Boucher had dealt with politicians at a recent Oireachtas committee hearing. He claimed Mr Boucher had treated public representatives like secondary school children.

"A bit of humility wouldn't go amiss," said Mr Carroll at Bank of Ireland's annual general meeting this morning.

While Bank of Ireland chairman Archie Kane said he hoped a dividend would be reintroduced by the bank at some stage in the future, Mr Carroll said he didn't want to see a dividend being paid off the back of customers' "broken dreams".

Around 200 shareholders have turned up at this morning's annual general meeting at UCD in Dublin. That's significantly fewer than would have been at its AGMs in recent years.

Mr Kane also said he has "no insight" as to when the government might seek to sell its 14pc stake in Bank of Ireland.

He also said Bank of Ireland is now providing about one third of all new mortgage lending in the country.

Earlier today the bank said that the economic environment and outlook in Ireland has improved and the bank is generating profit and capital since the start of the year.

The bank issued a trading statement today ahead of the meeting.

Its net interest margin - a measure of the profitability of its lending - inched up to 2.05pc in the first three months of the year from 2.03pc  in the second half of 2013 after substantial rises over the last 18 months.

In addition, the group’s loan volumes were about €83.3bn at the end of March 2014 compared to €84.5bn at 31 December 2013, as repayments continued to exceed new lending.

“Fees and other income are broadly similar to the levels earned in the second half of 2013,” the bank said.

“The Group remains focused on tight cost control.

“We continue to consolidate, standardise and simplify our operations whilst investing in our people, businesses and infrastructure.”

The bank added that as anticipated, defaulted loan volumes are continuing to decline, with Group defaulted volumes at the end of March 2014 being below the levels at 31 December 2013.

“Total arrears in our Irish mortgage book have continued to fall in the first quarter of 2014, with reductions in both early and default arrears,” it said.

Bank of Ireland also said that following the NAMA announcement that it would for the first time, pay a coupon on its subordinated debt, the bank has increased the carrying value of its NAMA subordinated debt to about 70pc of its nominal value, which reverses part of the impairment charges taken in previous years on this asset.

“In Ireland, we continue to identify and convert new lending opportunities as the economy recovers and as the banking market consolidates,” the bank said.

(Additional reporting Reuters)






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