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Noonan gives IBRC board his backing

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has said he is "fully confident" in the leadership of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) – just days after he appeared to criticise the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr Noonan and the board of the IBRC appeared to be at loggerheads over the politically sensitive issue of high pay for bankers in recent weeks.

Mr Noonan told a Dail committee last week that he had failed to convince the board of IBRC, led by Alan Dukes, to implement pay cuts but would continue to push the issue.

Seven executives at IBRC receive pay and allowances of, or in excess of, the €500,000 a year cap on bankers' pay introduced by the Government.

However, Mr Noonan stated his firm support for the board and management at the bank in a written response to a Dail question from Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

"I am fully confident in the management and the board of IBRC," Mr Noonan said.

The recent appointment of top civil servant Neil Ryan to a temporary post at the IBRC "does not in any way reflect a lack of confidence by me in the management or board of the bank," Mr Noonan said.

He said the appointment of Mr Ryan, a former banker turned civil servant, had improved communication between the organisations.

At Leinster House yesterday Mr Noonan said he has signalled to Europe that the government is "not disposed" to pay the next €3.1bn repayment of debt owed to Anglo Irish Bank/IBRC when it falls due in March.

Negotiation between the government and the European Central bank over the debt continue.

All options, including stretching out the time allowed to pay the €30bn owed to IBRC, or finding a new source of funding for the debt are being considered, he said.

Irish Independent