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Boucher's salary unchanged as Bank of Ireland boss hands back €118,000

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Richie Boucher

Richie Boucher

Richie Boucher

Bank of Ireland chief Richie Boucher gave up 12pc of his potential €961,000 pay package last year, a new report from the bank shows.

Mr Boucher was paid €843,000 in 2014 including pension contributions and allowances, after waiving €118,000 of his potential pay.

His total pay was unchanged from 2013. Most Bank of Ireland employees were awarded pay rises last year.

Bank of Ireland paid 14 directors a total of €2.76m last year, an average of just under €200,000 each.

The highest-paid non executives last year were chairman Archie Kane, who was paid €490,000, and deputy chairman Patrick O'Sullivan, who received €126,000. Mr Boucher was the highest paid executive.

A €500,000 a year maximum limit on staff pay that applies across the bailed-out banks does not affect Mr Boucher because he was already with the bank before it was introduced in the wake of the banking crisis.

Last year, the Bank of Ireland boss's basic salary before tax was €690,000, which was topped up by €34,000 in "other remuneration" and pension contributions of €237,000, according to the bank's annual report.

Mr Boucher was the only Bank of Ireland director to waive a portion of his pay.

At a shareholder vote last April the Government, which is Bank of Ireland's biggest shareholder, backed the controversial €843,000 pay packet awarded to Mr Boucher, which some smaller shareholders had branded as "disgraceful". Mr Boucher's number two at the bank, chief financial officer Andrew Keating's total remuneration for 2014 was €456,000, unchanged from 2013. Chairman Archie Kane earned €490,000.

The bank did not pay bonuses to directors in 2014, according to its annual report.

It made an "ex gratia" or voluntary payment of €210,000 to a former director, or their dependents, according to the annual report.

The Bank of Ireland board was reduced from 14 directors to 12 last year, as a result of the death of the late Joe Walsh, a former director of the bank and one-time Fianna Fail Minister for Agriculture, and the resignation of former shareholder Wilbur Ross.

Earlier this year the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, admitted that the bank pay cap was "a constraint" in terms of recruiting for senior roles at the bailed out banks.

Outgoing AIB chief executive David Duffy, who was subject to the cap, is tipped to see his pay double when he takes the helm at smaller UK lender Clydesdale Bank later this year.

The Government has so far resisted lifting the pay limits, however, which could prove politically unpopular given the cost to taxpayers of rescuing banks since 2008.

The new chief executive of AIB will be subject to the current limit. That recruitment process is under way and an appointment is due soon.

Bank of Ireland will hold its annual general meeting on April 29, at the O'Reilly Hall in UCD in Dublin.

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