Rewarding bankers

Pay and bonuses

Sir, – I think we have already paid the bankers a bonus. It cost us tens of billions. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.


Sir, – Most people can support the general principle that bonuses should be paid to high-performing personnel on achievement of agreed objectives and targets. And that most organisations should be free to set their own pay levels and bonus criteria in order to attract and retain the best staff to their organisation.

But as was regularly argued by the government to justify the bank bailout, banks are not “most organisations” and therefore required special arrangements.

Now it is claimed it is necessary to remove restrictions on bankers’ salaries, driven in large part to ensuring banks are competitive in attracting and retaining top talent in a competitive international marketplace.

In 2021 the Government claimed that, to ensure the best qualified person from across the world was attracted to the role of secretary general at the Department of Health, it was necessary to increase the top rate of pay for a secretary general from €211,000 to €92,000. Yet the person subsequently appointed was already employed within the Civil Service and therefore received an €81,000 increase.

Given that Bank of Ireland has recently appointed its new chief executive (another internal appointment) on the same general terms as his predecessor, the case for lifting pay restrictions on senior bankers must be a very thin one.

The Government has not supported increases ahead of inflation for any group – nurses, teachers, carers, etc, or for social welfare recipients – yet it wants the public to believe there should be no limit on bankers earning €500,000 a year. Seriously? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 15.

Sir, – A society which seems to value those who move money around over those who nurse, teach and protect us needs to take a very good look at itself. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – I note that “Donohoe rules out removing 89 per cent banker bonus super tax”, (News, December 30th).

While we should be grateful for small mercies, I am intrigued how the above percentage was arrived at! – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.