Taoiseach rules out change to cap on bankers’ pay

Kenny also reveals he has spoken on Trichet at his possible appearance

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  hosted a dinner with the IDA for more than 40 business executives at a Davos hotel last night. Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/EPA

Taoiseach Enda Kenny hosted a dinner with the IDA for more than 40 business executives at a Davos hotel last night. Photograph: Laurent Gillieron/EPA

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says there will be no change to the current cap on bankers’ pay, following the resignation of David Duffy as chief executive of AIB. “The Government will always act in the interest of the Irish taxpayer,” he said in Davos.

“David Duffy did a first class job on the salary scale he was given. There were a number of objectives he had to achieve and he’s achieved those and the govt has absolutely no intention of changing the capping level.”

The Taoiseach’s comments follow an interview with Bloomberg television yesterday in which he said that government-imposed banker pay caps are a “constraint.” Earlier this week, AIB chief executive David Duffy announced he is leaving the bank to take up a position with Clydesdale bank in Britain.

Mr Kenny also said that he personally spoken to former European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet “at some length” about his possible appearance at the banking inquiry. “We had a very good conversation and I was surprised at his willingness to provide information and evidence to the Irish people.”

It is understood that Jean-Claude Trichet contacted Mr Kenny on December 19th, the day after an EU summit at which the Taoiseach asked ECB president Mario Draghi if the ECB would attend the Irish banking inquiry. Speaking in Davos this morning, Mr Kenny said that Mr Trichet wanted to “find a way of giving the information and the evidence to the people of Ireland. ”

“He’s pointed out that there are difficulties from an ECB point of view in doing that, but he’s willing to find a method and compromise so that Ireland can hear from the ECB directly, because our people do need to hear from the ECB.”

The Taoiseach said he had now passed on the matter to Ciaran Lynch, the chairman of the Banking Inquiry.

“Since the economic catastrophe and the collapse of the banks people in Ireland suffered to an unprecedented extent and many thousands of them still suffer as a consequence so therefore the Irish people need to hear from the ECB.”

Mr Kenny, who hosted a dinner with the IDA for more than 40 business executives at a Davos hotel last night, met with representatives of between 15 and 20 companies yesterday in Davos. He said that companies are continuing to see Ireland as an attractive place in which to do business.

“This is my fourth time in Davos and when I came first, Ireland was in a very different place . We were trying to explain to people how we intended to deal with the scale of the challenge of the economic catastrophe. We are now in a very different place. And I have to say that the level of integrity and trust in respect of Ireland doing its business is very strong with investors into the country.”