| 10.7°C Dublin

Embrace change and unity, says AIB chief in rallying cry to staff

AIB chief executive David Duffy has called on staff to set departmental interests aside so his management team can implement an extensive change programme that will "return the bank to a viable company that we are proud to work for".

The call to action came in a recent email that Mr Duffy used to detail plans to streamline AIB's risk, human resources, legal services and information/ analytics functions as part of a new 'One Bank' approach.

The main substance of the changes is to consolidate what were once separate divisions so the bank can eliminate duplication that is "inefficient from cost, risk and control perspectives".

News of the consolidation suggests AIB is getting close to making an announcement on its long-awaited redundancy programme, since the new centralised functions are likely to need fewer staff than the separate units.

In the weekend's email, Mr Duffy stressed that all the changes he was announcing were "necessary" and would be implemented with "no exceptions" as AIB battles to achieve "a consistent, cost-effective model operating with the appropriate controls in place".

"It (the change programme) will not succeed unless we take personal responsibility and accountability for making it happen and for putting the interests of the organisation as a whole above those of any individual segment or function," he said, adding that all staff "need to embrace these and future transformational changes".

Mr Duffy also stressed that staff must "trust each other" to "deliver our respective areas of expertise in order to return the bank to a viable company that we are proud to work for".

But the remarks are likely to have fallen flat with some 2,000 AIB workers who have been fearing for their jobs since chairman David Hodgkinson signalled a massive round of redundancies almost a year ago.

Some sources suggest the bank may announce terms of a deal for the departures before the week is out, though trade union the IBOA says significant issues have not yet been agreed.

The transformation programme is part of AIB's bid to 'right-size' its internal structures in light of its smaller revenue-base and the slimmed-down nature of AIB Group after the sale of key international assets.

In his email, Mr Duffy stressed that the four measures being outlined would be followed up with "further models to be announced in the coming weeks".

"We will replace our current structure with the 'One Bank' model," he said. "These are mandated changes and there will be no exceptions."

Irish Independent