Bankers and bonuses


Sir, – Central Bank governor Philip Lane is the latest to join in what may be seen as a co-ordinated push by the banks over the past year or so to restore bonuses to their senior staff (“Central Bank governor sees case for bankers’ bonuses”, Business, October 5th).

Francesca McDonagh, the chief executive of the Bank of Ireland, complained of the difficulty in retaining or attracting staff to senior positions. Nonetheless, in the recent past, the banks have made steady progress in resolving their (and our) self-created difficulties; profits are up and various “legacy” issues are being fixed. This is happening and will continue to do so if Dr Lane continues to do his job properly, despite the lack of bonuses. We would do good to remember what happened when there were bonuses available. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

A chara, – I have no doubt that senior bankers work hard, nor do I doubt that they must make difficult decisions. I believe that they should be well rewarded for so doing. But could one of them kindly explain as to what it is that they do that means they deserve to earn 2½ times the salary of the Taoiseach? Or what difficulties they face on trying to live on less than €500,000 a year?

There is a line that can be drawn between supporting endeavour and enterprise, and just greed. Corporate social responsibility by the banks is about more than sponsoring worthwhile community initiatives; it is about showing an understanding of the social contract that binds us all together.

For banking to retain (or regain) public confidence, its leadership needs to focus on building the wealth of our community, not their own. – Is mise,


(Fianna Fáil),


Co Wexford.