BOI bonuses 'should be investigated'

 

The failure of Bank of Ireland to disclose bonuses it paid to senior staff should be re-investigated, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) annual conference was told tonight.

AGSI President Aidan O’Donnell said public servants were subject to unfair criticism of their wages and conditions when Bank of Ireland was getting away with paying bonuses to the staff without disclosing it to the Government.

He criticised the “greed and arrogance” of the banks which have been given the guarantee and who were now repaying taxpayers by increasing mortgage payments.

Mr O’Donnell was applauded by delegates when he said that the banks should not be allowed to pay bonuses in any case.

Mr O’Donnell took exception to the payment of nearly €1 million to two senior members of staff which were not disclosed to the Government as had been agreed under the terms of the bank guarantee agreed in 2008.

He expressed incredulity that the bank could have overlooked such a bonus and that it “may have not been a deliberate omission”.

He added: “Are we seriously to believe that Bank of Ireland inadvertently overlooked two single bonus payments totalling nearly €1 million?”

He called on the new Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to re-examine how this happened and said his own members would be subject to severe disciplinary action if they had similarly misled the State.

Inspector O'Donnell said there was a feeling among gardaí that the Fraud Squad. is “stretched to the limit” and is struggling to cope with the upsurge in white collar crime.

A motion before the conference, which will be voted on Wednesday, calls on garda management to prioritise the investigation of white collar crime and to provide more outside support.

Delegates are also expected to vote on a motion which would see the Fraud Squad set up on a divisional basis.