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Thursday 23 November 2017

140 bailed-out bank executives claiming €100,000-plus pensions

JOHN DRENNAN Political Editor

A staggering 167 former banking executives are on pensions of more than €100,000 per annum, according to figures released by the Minister of Finance Michael Noonan.

The figures reveal 140 former executives from two banks bailed out by the taxpayer – 88 from Allied Irish Bank (AIB)/ Educational Building Society (EBS) and 52 from the Bank of Ireland (BoI) – are on 'Rolls Royce' retirement schemes.

So far, only former AIB chief executive Eugene Sheehy has agreed to take a pension cut. The banker is now on a pension of €250,000 after agreeing to hand back between €50,000/€75,000 of his yearly payment.

Yesterday, Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath slammed the absence of "moral leadership" from leading bankers.

Responding to questions from Mr McGrath, Mr Noonan said that AIB and EBS issued more than 30 letters to other senior bank executives seeking cuts in their pension.

However, the bank told the minister it "is not disclosing the names of these individuals on confidentiality grounds''.

Responding to queries on BoI, Mr Noonan said his department has no role "in the day-to-day commercial and operational decisions of Bank of Ireland''.

Astonishingly, Mr Noonan also admitted that Permanent TSB, another bailed-out institution, "has not to date written to retired executives asking them to consider forgoing a portion of their pensions''.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent about Mr Noonan's "remarkably coy'' responses, Mr McGrath slammed the scenario where "having bailed out the banks, we are expected to continue bailing out the pensions of the top bankers who created such a mess''.

Mr McGrath also criticised the "absence of moral leadership informing the scenario where a week before millions of householders receive property tax letters, top retired bankers are now the only sector of society who have not taken a hit as a consequence of the mess they created''.

Mr McGrath added that "even top mandarins and top current and retired politicians have suffered reductions in salaries and pensions''.

Irish Independent

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