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Staff at IBRC refuse to work on transfer of assets to NAMA

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Workers leaving Connaught House, the former HQ of IBRC on Burlington Rd, Dublin.

Workers leaving Connaught House, the former HQ of IBRC on Burlington Rd, Dublin.

Workers leaving Connaught House, the former HQ of IBRC on Burlington Rd, Dublin.

WORKERS at the former Anglo Irish Bank are refusing to co-operate with any of the paperwork needed to transfer billions of euro worth of assets to NAMA or Capita Asset Services, the Irish Independent has learned.

The move could potentially delay the liquidation process for the state-owned bank which still controls as much as €14bn of assets, mostly loans backed by property.

Staff are angry at the "lack of progress" on several issues, primarily the loss of their redundancy packages after the bank was liquidated, according to the Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA).

IBRC is currently seeking to secure agreement with borrowers to redeem their debts, and if that fails the loans will be transferred to the State's toxic loans agency NAMA.

A spokesman for the IBOA said its members had withdrawn some services this week – specifically on dealing with the transfer of assets to NAMA and the outside agency.

The union stressed the staff are performing other duties as normal, including any activities surrounding litigation matters.

"They've taken this decision because of the lack of progress on a number of issues but primarily the issue of compensation for severance," the spokesman said.

Employees want their former redundancy packages to be reinstated, and have held a number of meetings with the special liquidators .

The 800 Irish-based staff at the bank had their contracts with the former Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide terminated when IBRC was rushed into a dramatic liquidation on February 7 at the behest of Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

The bulk of staff have been re-hired on monthly contracts by the special liquidators who are charged with selling off the remains of the bank, or transferring any remaining assets to NAMA.

Liquidation

Following the shock announcement of the liquidation, the Department of Finance confirmed staff would only receive statutory redundancy.

Everyone who worked at IBRC knew that the bank was eventually to shut at the end of a 10-year 'wind-down'.

However, the IBOA said staff want redundancy terms applied that were signed off in a previous deal, claiming that the workers feel "cheated".

Under that deal, the banking union said workers would have been entitled to four weeks' pay per year of service, inclusive of statutory entitlements.

Statutory redundancy allows for two weeks' pay per year of service, plus one further week's pay.

The banking union said that it was within the power of the special liquidators KPMG and Mr Noonan to resolve the issue.

"The modest compensation you were due to receive when you finished up here, that's now being halved in the case of some workers and maybe more than halved in the case of others," the IBOA said.

"That's a fairly hard situation to deal with when you're already trying to manage the prospect of being out of work far sooner than you had previously anticipated."

The IBOA represents the majority of the permanent IBRC workers, between 250 and 300.

Around 150 staff in the UK retained their contracts following the liquidation, including redundancy entitlements, as they are in a different jurisdiction.

NAMA hired Capita to handle billions of euro worth of property loans that IBRC was being paid to manage.

Capita will now manage loans with a face value of €41bn that 200 staff at the bank had been overseeing for NAMA since the agency bought the loans back in 2010, at a substantial discount.

Irish Independent