AIB finance chief Mark Bourke quits for overseas role

Chief financial officer instrumental in preparing bank for last year’s IPO

Mark Bourke joined AIB in April 2014  Photograph: Eric Luke

Mark Bourke joined AIB in April 2014 Photograph: Eric Luke

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AIB’S chief financial officer, Mark Bourke, has given the bank notice of his intention to stand down early next year.

It is understood that Mr Bourke (52) will be taking up a position overseas.

Mr Bourke joined the bank in April 2014 and was instrumental in preparing the bailed-out bank for its return to the main Dublin and London stock markets last year, when the Government raised €3.4 billion from the sale of a 28.8 per cent stake in the lender in an initial public offering (IPO).

The departure is likely to fuel debate around pay restrictions across Irish banks a decade to the month after the then government issued a snap guarantee on the financial system as it teetered on the bank of collapse.

AIB chief executive said in July that a “mid-teens” percentage of the bank’s almost 200 most senior managers had left since the IPO in June last year, amid remuneration caps and as overseas financial firms look at expanding in Dublin as a result of Brexit. Mr Bourke’s resignation comes within months of his second-in-command and group director of finance, Myles O’Grady, left the bank.

The Department of Finance is seeking to hire consultants to advise on pay across rescued banks in a move that is expected to pave the way for a return of executive bonuses.

Big loss

“Mark’s departure will be a big loss both to AIB and the leadership team,” said group chief executive Bernard Byrne. “He has contributed hugely to AIB’s turnaround and our successful IPO.”

AIB will now commence a process to appoint a successor to Mr Bourke.

Group chairman Richard Pym said Mr Bourke “has a great personal opportunity in his new role and will leave with our best wishes for future success”.

Separately, it emerged earlier this week that AIB is set to lose a senior retail banker, Patrick Farrell, to rival Permanent TSB, which is also subject to pay restrictions. Mr Farrell, who also worked as head of private banking at AIB in the past, will become PTSB’s retail banking director in December.

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