Business Irish

Monday 20 November 2017

Bosses say State banks don't deserve bonuses

Louise McBride

Louise McBride

Any move by State-owned Irish banks to pay bonuses to staff will get the blood of Irish business owners boiling. About 85 per cent of entrepreneurs believe State-owned banks should not be allowed to pay bonuses, the survey has found. Only one in 10 supported the payment of bank bonuses while five per cent were undecided.

Last week's revelations about the €11,500 watch given as a retirement gift to the then chief executive of Irish Nationwide, Michael Fingleton, two years ago are therefore unlikely to have gone down well with business owners. The retirement gift was given to Mr Fingleton in 2009 when the building society was in financial trouble. Irish Nationwide, which was taken over by the State last month, also paid a €1m bonus payment to Fingleton after the government guarantee in 2008.

Irish Nationwide is not the only State-owned bank to have been dogged by bonus controversies over the last year.

Last December, AIB backed down on plans to pay out €40m in bonuses after the then government said it would not support the bank any more if the payments went ahead.

Despite the Irish banking crisis, almost three out of four business owners did not move personal or company deposits out of Irish-owned banks in the last year, according to the survey. One in four company owners were, however, spooked enough to move their savings out of Irish banks.

Bank of Ireland is so far the only Irish bank to have avoided a State takeover. Anglo Irish Bank, EBS Building Society and Irish Nationwide are now under State control -- with Permanent TSB likely to follow shortly.

Sunday Indo Business

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