Up to 130 Central Bank staff earn more than €100,000

Governor Philip Lane publishes salary scale in move to boost transparency and says bank will hire more employees

 Central Bank Governor  Philip Lane  . Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Central Bank Governor Philip Lane . Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

The Central Bank has published details of its salary structures, pay scales and human resource policies for the first time in a bid to boost transparency.

The data shows that 130 staff, or one-in-12 employees, were paid more than €100,000 a year in 2015.

The bank’s total salary bill, excluding pension costs, rose by 5.7 per cent last year to €105 million as the headcount increased to 1,577 from 1,398. The average salary last year was €60,648, down from €61,202 in 2014.

The information on pay scales also shows how seven lower-level grades in the bank received increases in their pay in January. This reflected some restoration of public sector pay cuts in line with amendments agreed last year under the Fempi financial emergency legislation.

Bank officer’s on the first point of the pay scale received a 2.5 per cent rise to €24,250. Those on the second, third, fourth and fifth points of the scale each received increases of 1 per cent. Their salaries now range from €26,020 to €31,241.

Bank executives on the first two points of the scale also received increases of 1 per cent, increasing their salaries to €28,316 and €30,411 respectively.

The Central Bank’s data shows that 79 staff, or 5.2 per cent of the total of full-time equivalents, were paid between €100,000 and €124,999. Thirty six employees, or 2.4 per cent of staff, earned salaries between €125,000 and €149,999.

Another 15 were paid salaries above €150,000, equating to 1 per cent of the total headcount.

At the end of December 2015, the Governor Philip Lane was paid a salary of €254,048 per annum while the deputy governor and head of financial regulation, Cyril Roux, received €310,000. These figures were unchanged on a year earlier.

The regulator said 30 professional and administrative grade staff were paid above the maximum point of the salary scale for their role. “Salary on appointment is linked to knowledge, skills and experience relevant to the role,” the bank said. “It may, on occasion, be higher than the first point on the salary scale or in very limited circumstances be above the maximum point of the scale.”

The bank has said it is designing a “more flexible reward model” to enable a “modern and progressive organisation which rewards and recognises the value of every role in our organisation”.

The publication of the salary scales was announced on Friday by new governor Philip Lane, who also signalled the bank intended to hire a further 150 staff this year.

In his first speaking engagement as governor, Prof Lane unveiled a number of measures aimed at bolstering public confidence in the bank’s internal governance.

The bank has been in the spotlight over the payment of €500,000 in retention bonuses to staff, which unions say breach the financial emergency legislation on public-sector pay, which is still being unwound.

“We are committed to publishing data on our salary structures and pay scales on an annual basis and publish these for the first time today,” Prof Lane told the Institute of Directors’ Spring lunch.

“By providing greater details on our human resources policies, we aim to enhance understanding about the Central Bank as a public organisation and prospective employer.”

Prof Lane also announced the Central Bank would publish the minutes of meetings of its board, the Central Bank Commission, which decides on policy.

“The publication of these minutes should contribute to greater understanding of our corporate governance, the internal debates we have and the initiatives that we’re planning,” he said. The minutes will be published six weeks after each meeting. Details of Prof Lane’s first meeting as governor, held in December, will be available next month.

Prof Lane, who took over at the helm in November, said the bank intended to publish a review of its mortgage lending rules in November this year, later than previously signalled.

The bank is firmly committed to maintaining such measures on an “ongoing basis, with periodic reviews to ensure that the measures are appropriately calibrated,” he said.

The review would be based on an analysis of the evidence provided by data on the first year of the operation of the rules, while taking into account other factors that may have influenced the mortgage market during the period.

Prof Lane said he was open to tightening or loosening the rules depending on the evidence. However, he said the “evidence threshold to justify adjustments” would have to be significant.

“The rules-based framework is intended to promote the resilience of both banks and households and, as such, should be viewed as a permanent feature of the system.”

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said recently a long wait for the review could have a corrosive effect on an already sluggish housing market.

In his speech, Prof Lane said Ireland’s recent economic performance had been broadly based, with domestic sectors now making a significant contribution to overall growth.

While the final data were not in yet, he said he expected Ireland’s gross domestic product (GDP) to have grown by 6.5 per cent -7 per cent in 2015.

However, he cautioned that GDP was only “a limited guide to economic performance”, especially in relation to highly-globalised economies such as Ireland.