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Banks paying 28 executives more than €400,000 a year

TWENTY-FOUR staff at Bank of Ireland and four executives at AIB are being paid more than €400,000 a year each.

And one of the two "public interest" directors whose job is to oversee Bank of Ireland on behalf of taxpayers is among those directly responsible for setting pay at BoI, the Irish Independent understands.

The role played by Joe Walsh at Bank of Ireland is likely to raise further questions about oversight of the banks, and what, if any, role is played by highly paid "public interest" directors appointed to represent taxpayers.

Mr Walsh has earned fees of €238,000 since he was appointed as the State's representative on the Bank of Ireland board in 2009.

The former agriculture minister is one of two "public interest" directors parachuted into the bank when it needed state support following the 2008 financial crash. He is now the chairman of the bank's "remuneration committee", the internal body with specific responsibility for pay issues, including setting pay for senior executives.

The latest figures on bankers' pay were revealed in written answers by Finance Minister Michael Noonan to questions from Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty and Padraig Mac Lochlainn.

Mr Noonan said the Government shared public outrage about the high levels of pay at rescued banks.

"Without the assistance of the citizens, such levels of remuneration at these institutions would only be aspirational," he said.

The number of staff on salaries of more than €400,000 at AIB will drop to two at the end of this year, including chief executive David Duffy, who has implemented a 15pc pay cut for top managers since taking control of the bank this year. AIB is effectively nationalised.

Bank of Ireland is 15pc state owned, and has not seen the same level of senior staff turnover as AIB in recent years.

At Bank of Ireland, 150 individuals are earning between €150,000 and €300,000 a year.

Nineteen are paid between €300,000 and €400,000 with 24 taking home in excess of €400,000.

Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher's pay package, including salary and allowances, is €831,000.

Senior figures such as Liam McLoughlin, who runs the bank's retail unit in Ireland, Andrew Keating, the bank's chief financial officer, and Des Crowley, who runs the bank's retail division in the UK, are members of the executive team that runs the bank day-to-day alongside Mr Boucher and likely to be among the bank's highest earners.

Mr Noonan said he has limited scope to reduce the "ridiculous" pay and pensions of senior bankers in the upcoming Budget. Sinn Fein accused the minister of 'feigning fake outrage' over the issue.