24 bank officials earning over €250,000


SOME 24 banking officials at the rescued AIB and EBS financial institutions are earning a base salary in excess of €250,000 per annum, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has revealed.

Mr Noonan confirmed the figure to Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív in a written Dáil reply, ruling out seeking pay reductions from the high-earning bank staff at the now-combined State-owned institutions in line with pay ceilings in place at semi-State companies and for senior public service posts.

AIB is currently seeking 2,500 redundancies, and Mr Ó Cuív said yesterday he was “shocked” at the number of people earning more than €250,000 at AIB.

The former Fianna Fáil minister said “the Government must now move as quickly as legally possible to ensure that the public service pay cap is enforced at AIB, and make sure that any new entrants don’t earn beyond that public service pay cap”.

The Government currently has in place a pay ceiling of €250,000 at semi-State companies and a €200,000 pay cap in the public sector. It has a pay ceiling of €500,000 for chief executives at State-owned banks.

Mr Noonan said the number earning more than €250,000 in 2008 at AIB and EBS had been 33.

Last month, AIB – 99.8 per cent owned by the State – reported an after-tax loss of €2.3 billion for last year. However, Mr Noonan has ruled out seeking any pay reduction among AIB or EBS staff.

While accepting “that a salary of €250,000 is a considerable amount of money to pay an individual”, Mr Noonan said: “My objective is to support remuneration levels which . . . are balanced and sufficient at all levels across the organisation in the current market to attract, motivate and retain the type of experience and talent which is required to achieve its objectives – the primary one being to protect and enhance the value for the exchequer in relation to the substantial investment made by the State.”