Bailed-out banks still giving staff big bonuses

Claire Murphy

ANGLO Irish Bank rewarded staff with a 5pc pay rise while AIB employees' pay packets swelled by an average of €10,000 this year.

Meanwhile, around 580 staff in Bank of Ireland received so called “promotional increases” but the bank would not provide details of the amount due to commercial reasons.

The banks who received billions of euros from taxpayers believe that their employees deserve bonuses and wage increases and handed them out over the past two years.

As revealed in the Herald, individual salary increases totalling €3.4m were paid to employees in AIB in the first nine months of the year as a sweetener to retain staff.


And nationalised Anglo Irish Bank has paid out bonuses to 15 employees since last year and increased pay rates up to manager level by 5pc.

Government backbench TD Chris Andrews said that the figures were “unbelievable”. He said it was “simply wrong that Anglo Irish granted bonuses to any staff given the appalling condition of its books”.

Civil and public service workers face massive wage cuts in tomorrow's budget, but the banks that brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy continue to lash out lavish payments to their employees due to “market competitive pressures”.

In reply to questions from Mr Andrews, the minister also revealed that “a number” of Anglo staff were awarded specific pay increases in line with enhanced job responsibilities and criticality of roles.

The Herald can reveal that Anglo Irish Bank paid a “general salary increase” of 5pc to staff up to manager level in 2009.

These increases were also agreed in 2008 but not implemented until January 2009 – long after the Government realised that the bank was haemorrhaging billions.

Amazingly the basket-case bank that was run into the ground by Sean Fitzpatrick also handed out 10 bonuses in 2009.

“I find it unbelievable that bonuses and increases were sanctioned by AIB and Anglo Irish Bank in 2009 and 2010, at a time when staff in private companies across Ireland are taking pay cuts, forgoing bonuses and being made redundant,” Mr Andrews said.

“While I want to express clearly that I fully appreciate the work and dedication of the frontline staff at these institutions, the fact is the money for increases and bonuses simply isn't there anymore.”

The Dublin South East TD has demanded the boards of AIB and Anglo “immediately clarify these figures for the Irish taxpayer, who is paying for this”.

Bank of Ireland did not pay general increases in 2009, nor were there any performance related bonuses.