Tuesday 12 December 2017

Lenihan to get apology from BoI over bank bonuses

Thomas Molloy

BANK of Ireland is set to apologise to Finance Minister Brian Lenihan for misleading him about bonus payments to senior officials and traders.

The Irish Independent understands that the bank will also give details of all payments made to bank officials along with the apology which could come as early as today. The bank did not respond to questions last night.

Bank of Ireland was forced to engage in a lengthy review of all payments across several payroll systems after this newspaper revealed that the bank made a €500,000 payment to one executive despite telling Mr Lenihan that no significant bonuses had been paid last year.

Mr Lenihan then repeated the bank's claims in an answer to a Dail question in December. His answer is likely to be corrected once Bank of Ireland reveals details about the new payments. The outgoing finance minister ordered an inquiry into the payments which was hampered by wrangles over what constitutes a bonus and the bank's complex payment system.

The Department of Finance is carrying out an "intensive investigation" into bonus payments made to Bank of Ireland staff since the introduction of the bank guarantee scheme.

Mr Lenihan said in January that the information provided by the bank did not take into account "contractual bonuses" that were performance-related.

"I have been undertaking, as a matter of urgency, an intensive investigation of the additional payments made by Bank of Ireland since the introduction of the guarantee scheme and of additional payments which it may have intended making in the future," he said at the time.

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