Anglo Irish Bank chief executive Mike Aynsley looked for the Government to agree more generous redundancy terms for bank staff but Finance Minister Brian Lenihan was against the proposal.
It is understood Mr Aynsley wanted a redundancy package of six weeks' pay, plus statutory, but the Department of Finance would not accept this.
Irish banks have traditionally paid out between six and seven weeks' pay per year of service and many Anglo staff were hoping for a similar entitlement. But in a sign that the Government is exercising tight control over Anglo, the minister was not swayed by the bank's arguments.
A letter, seen by the Irish Independent, was sent to Mr Aynsley just before an announcement of the redundancy programme by a senior official.
"The minister has considered the issue and the rationale for the changes proposed, but is of the view that the terms as advised to you previously. . . should stand," it said.
It is understood the letter was sent after the bank attempted to alter the terms of the package.
Ultimately Anglo qualified for four weeks' pay per year of service, plus statutory, capped at a maximum of 52 weeks' pay.
The department declined yesterday to comment on what representations were made to the minister. Anglo said it had closely liaised with the department on the terms and they were signed off on by its board.
"The aim of the process was to determine terms that were equitable given the interests of departing employees and of the taxpayer. The board and management are satisfied that this objective has been met,'' said a statement.