IL&P staff have 'lost confidence' in executives


A union representing half the employees at ILP has written to senior executives at the lender saying they have lost confidence in chairman Gillian Bowler (above) and interim group chief executive Denis Casey.

Mr Casey bowed to growing pressure and resigned last Friday after the board had initially declined his offer to step down following the emergence of details of a €7 billion transaction between IL&P and Anglo Irish Bank. He will remain as acting group chief executive for a transition period until a successor is found.

Staff at IL&P were being briefed by management today about the events over the last ten days which also include the departures of finance director Peter Fitzpatrick and head of treasury David Gantly.

A spokesman for IL&P decribed the briefings as “standard communications procedure” and said they had been arrangement at the request of management. He said he was aware of the correspondence but declined to comment on it.

The Unite union, which claims to represent half of IL&P’s 5,000 workforce, wrote to the head of human resources Tony Hession last night saying the security employment of its members had been compromised by the delay in the CEO’s resignation. This delay had focused "enormous negative attention" on the organisation.

“It is the view of this union that the board risked sacrificing the security and tenure of the jobs of our members in an attempt to support the now resigned CEO.

“On behalf of this Union and our representatives, I wish to formally advise you that the chairman and interim CEO no longer retain the confidence of the 2,500 members of this trade union.”

The letter hints at possible industrial action should its concerns not be addressed, saying it would consider carrying out a ballot. The letter also calls for all pay increases due this year to be “paid in full”.

A letter in response from the board said it had "expressed its strong disapproval of and disappointment with some of the specific measures used to support Anglo Irish Bank during 2008 and the fact that the board itself was not informed of the specific manner in which such support had been afforded to Anglo Irish Bank."

The letter said the board has "full confidence" in Ms Bowler and said she had its "full support".

Staff were being briefed this afternoon in Portlaoise with briefings at regional centres around the State planned for this evening.

The union said around 100 people are understood to have availed of an offer by Permanent TSB to pay employees up to €20,000 to take a two-year career break and up to €35,000 each for a three-year break in an attempt to reduce costs at the bank.