Bankers and bonuses


Sir, – Since the issue of paying bonuses to bankers seems to have arisen again, I’d like to state that I have no objection to it in principle (“Bailed-out banks to be allowed pay bonuses of up to €20,000 under Donohoe plan”, Business, November 28th).

In cases where those individuals do something really exceptional – reopening a branch in a small, underserved village or getting a given number of young people into their own homes say – I’d be in favour of such recognition. The amount, however, is hard to determine. As a “benchmark” – a concept often used to draw parallels between the public and private sectors, it may be worth considering €1,000 bonus paid to healthcare workers who risked their lives daily over the years of the Covid pandemic.

It would be good if, at least, the bonuses were not simply awarded in recognition of taking ludicrous risks during the previous few months and, for so far, having ostensibly got away with it. – Yours, etc,




Co Cork.

Sir, – I welcome the move by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue to allow bailed -out banks to pay bonuses up to ¤20,000 and remove the cap on executive pay. The State will pick up over 40 per cent in taxes, which will be a nice bonus.

While Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty has described the move as “tone deaf”, I believe you can’t be blind either to the realities of recruitment in a competitive market.

We need the right people to fulfil important roles in the running of our Irish banks to ensure they can play an important role for the whole of society.

The disastrous issues which our banking sector faced during the financial crisis and the reasons they got into a mess were caused primarily by a failure of regulation and accountability at executive level. I trust these highly pay executives will be mindful of their responsibilities and the consequences of failure. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.