IBF chief Pat Farrell lands plum role as Bank Of Ireland’s head of communications

Pat Farrell, who has been appointed BoI head of Communications. Photograph: Eric Luke

Pat Farrell, who has been appointed BoI head of Communications. Photograph: Eric Luke


Irish Banking Federation chief executive Pat Farrell has decided to leave the industry representative body to join Bank of Ireland as its new head of group communications and government affairs.

He is effectively replacing Dan Loughrey, who leaves the bank at the end of April. Mr Loughrey is head of group communications and announced his intention to step down some months ago.

New role
Bank of Ireland said Mr Farrell would take up his new role in the “next couple of months”.

Mr Farrell’s appointment will come as a surprise to many in the industry, especially AIB and Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland’s biggest rivals here.

Over the past five years, Mr Farrell has stoutly defended the country’s main banks amid a barrage of criticism about their roles in the collapse of the economy and the massive bailouts that they have received.

He also has represented the industry in discussions on issues such as mortgage arrears and regulatory change. The IBF represents most of the country’s retail banks and building societies and some other financial institutions. Mr Farrell has led it since 2004.

He previously held senior executive positions in the financial services, public affairs and healthcare sectors. These included head of marketing and communications at EBS Building Society between 1998 and 2003, general secretary of Fianna Fáil from 1991 to 1997 and a number of senior positions in health administration, notably a period as chief executive of Galvia Hospital in Galway. Mr Farrell is also a former member of Seanad Éireann, having been appointed in late 1992 by then taoiseach Albert Reynolds.

John Reynolds, chief executive of KBC Bank Ireland and president of the IBF, said: “In my view Pat has done an excellent job for us as CEO and I’d like to wish him well in his new role with Bank of Ireland.”