Trump’s tax cuts lead to €800 windfall for Dublin bank staff

Bank of America workers to receive bonus in line with US staff after corporate tax change

Bank of America is one of a smaller number of firms to extend the bonuses to employees working outside the US, including those in its Irish operation, based in Leopardstown in Dublin

Bank of America is one of a smaller number of firms to extend the bonuses to employees working outside the US, including those in its Irish operation, based in Leopardstown in Dublin

 

About 700 Bank of America workers in Ireland are in line for an estimated €800 windfall from US president Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts.

Many US companies announced once-off bonuses for employees late last year after politicians backed legislation slashing tax on corporate profits to 21 per cent from 35 per cent, saving businesses $1.5 trillion a year.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which employs about 700 people in the Republic, has told workers in its Irish operation that it intends paying a similar bonus here.

Shortly before Christmas, the lender told 145,000 US workers that it would pay all those earning less than $150,000 (€120,000) a year an extra $1,000 as a result of its tax savings.

It is understood that the bank intends paying a similar sum to staff in Ireland, which would translate as around €800 each before income tax, which could be levied on the bonus, depending on how the company pays it.

Mr Trump’s tax cuts prompted many big US companies, including telecoms giant, AT&T, TV and internet specialist, Comcast, and bank Wells Fargo, to announce staff bonuses.

Bank of America is one of a smaller number to extend the bonuses to employees working outside the US, including those in its Irish operation, based in Leopardstown in Dublin.

The tax cuts are aimed at luring capital back to the US from countries such as the Republic, whose low charge on corporate profits Mr Trump singled out in a number of speeches.

However, US legislators took time to vote for the cuts, as many representatives argued that they favoured wealthy companies and voiced fears that they would stoke inflation.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch chief executive, Brian Moynihan, last year told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, that it had picked Dublin as its preferred European hub after the UK leaves the EU.

The move could see it increasing staff numbers to more than their current 700. Mr Moynihan indicated that the bank would increase its presence across Europe in coming years.

Mr Moynihan told The Irish Times that the move would also mean merging the Irish arm with its most important banking unit, which is now based in London.