Friday 23 March 2018

Executives being hired despite loss of €8.2bn

Devastated bank employing more senior managers to tackle debt bill


ANGLO Irish Bank is still hiring new staff even though it is haemmorhaging money and its restructuring plans are under scrutiny by Europe.

The bailed-out bank will recruit a number of senior managers in the coming months, despite posting record-breaking losses of €8.2bn in the first six months of this year.

Anglo confirmed this weekend that it intends to hire "people who are skilled in restructuring and debt recovery" to fill a number of "executive positions".

The recruitment will further increase the payroll at the debt-ridden institution following another week of devastating losses. The losses fuelled speculation last week that the Anglo bailout could end up costing taxpayers €35bn rather than €25bn.

However, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said the costs of closing it immediately could be as much as €70bn.

Given such colossal costs, the Government is now said to favour an eventual winding down of Anglo rather than splitting it into a 'good' and 'bad' bank, as has been proposed by Anglo's new management team.

The European Commission will ultimately decide Anglo's future when it rules on the proposals for its restructuring in weeks.

Nevertheless, Anglo has already hired 200 new staff this year, and will continue to hire even more senior executives in the coming months to "strengthen" its management team.

The bank had 1,800 staff on the payroll when it was nationalised in the wake of the banking collapse in 2008.

It shed 800 in a "clear-out" of the bank but staff numbers were back up to 1,253 by June this year.

Of the 800 who left Anglo, 262 signed up to a costly voluntary redundancy scheme, while 92 are now working in a unit dedicated to transferring loans to Nama.

More than 70 remaining staff, whose duties changed as a result of the voluntary-redundancy scheme, ended up getting a pay rise because the redundancies left them with more work.

Anglo said that the bank's future recruitment needs will depend on the European Commission decision on the bank restructuring plan.

The bank intends to "add new senior leadership hires in the coming months to further strengthen the management team".

The 200 staff who since joined the company are mostly senior executives, including 90 divisional managers, and new heads of corporate development, financial markets, group recovery and human resources.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan had originally promised that the bill for bailing out Anglo would not run to more than €23bn.

But, earlier this year, the Department of Finance admitted that there is a significant risk that the final Anglo bill will be higher.

Sunday Independent

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