IBOA forecasts 10,000 banking jobs will go
REDUNDANCIES are forecast to top 10,000 across the financial services sector by the end of the year.
The Irish Bank Officials' Association (IBOA) said 6,000 people lost their jobs in the last 18 months and predicted over 4,000 would be shed in the next six months.
AIB is expected to axe thousands of jobs when it presents a major restructuring plan to the EU, which is expected to be rubberstamped in September.
Further job losses were announced in the fallout from the banking crisis this week, with credit card giant MBNA announcing 66 compulsory redundancies in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim.
The announcement came just a month after Bank of Ireland said it would seek 750 voluntary redundancies by the end of next year.
Last week, Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe wrote to Bank of Ireland and AIB seeking "urgent clarity" on their redundancy plans.
He has invited the banks to meet him early next month to outline the number, location, and skills of the employees who may be affected, but no dates have been scheduled yet.
IBOA general secretary Larry Broderick said he expected a "substantial" jobs announcement at AIB later this year.
"There are huge rumours out there," he said.
"I'm not going to speculate, but the number there would be significant.
"While we appreciate that AIB is still in talks with the EU Commission over its viability plan, we believe that the broad thrust of its business strategy should now be in place and open to comment."
He said there should be some job opportunities at NAMA and financial institutions as they began lending again to businesses.
The union leader called on Mr O'Keeffe to launch a jobs strategy, but welcomed his decision to ask the financial institutions to outline their redundancy plans.
There have been over 6,000 job losses in the financial services sector in the last 18 months due to redundancies, the non-replacement of retiring staff and non-renewal of temporary contracts.
Of these, the union said 1,700 jobs had gone at AIB, 230 at Anglo Irish Bank, 1,800 at Bank of Ireland and 1,000 at Ulster Bank.
A further 750 jobs had been lost at Halifax, 150 at National Irish Bank, 120 at Permanent TSB, 150 at Postbank, and 200 at Royal Bank of Scotland Technology Services.
It said there had also been further smaller job losses in the operations of American banks, including Merrill Lynch and Citibank, and insurance firms such as Quinn and Axa.