Sunday 19 November 2017

Central Bank urged to safeguard staff in banking overhaul

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

TRADE union Unite yesterday appealed to the Central Bank to make banking staff "central" to the wave of restructuring that will sweep through the financial sector over the coming weeks.

Unite was meeting with Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan days after the Government announced plans to merge EBS and AIB and dramatically scale back other financial institutions.

As many as 6,000 job losses are feared across the sector.

In a statement, Unite said there had been "positive engagement" between both sides, although it appears that no guarantees were given as to the scale of job losses.

The Central Bank has agreed to "look at ways" to "gain greater insight into workers' experience" so it can consider this in framing policies for the banking sector, Unite added.

The union has also written to Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin to ask them to "ensure the strong banking sector workforce is considered centrally in the restructuring process".

The merger of AIB and EBS is expected to be one of the first flashpoints, with as many as 2,000 jobs at risk.

The 3,100 jobs at Permanent TSB are also seen as vulnerable, since the bank has no clear role in the "new" banking landscape, which will be dominated by AIB and Bank of Ireland.

Bank of Ireland has already announced that there will be 750 job losses before the end of the year and it is understood to have no plans to cut any more staff in the immediate future.

Last week, the chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank said the merger of Anglo and Irish Nationwide could mean that 300 staff would lose their jobs.

Irish Independent

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