A TOTAL OF 24 AIB and EBS employees are continuing to receive basic salaries in excess of €250,000 annually at a time when hundreds of staff at the institution are being made redundant, according to the Minister for Finance.
In an answer to a parliamentary question by Éamon Ó Cuív, Michael Noonan said that 24 employees were in receipt of such salaries, which he admitted were “considerable”.
However, Noonan ruled out seeking reductions in salaries – saying that the bank was “one of the two universal pillar banks in the Irish financial system” which continued to operate as “a separate economic unit with independent powers of decision and functions” independent from him as Minister in relation to its day-to-day operations.
My objective is to support remuneration levels which, having regard to the capital and financial position of the bank, are balanced and sufficient at all levels across the organisation in the current market to attract, motivate and retain the type of experience and talent which is required to achieve its objectives – the primary one being to protect and enhance the value for the Exchequer in relation to the substantial investment made by the State.
Noonan noted that the number of employees earning such salaries had fallen in the past number of years, with 33 people at AIB earning comparative salaries at the end of 2008.
He added that the Government was currently imposing a pay ceiling of €250,000 at semi-State companies, €200,000 pay cap in the public sector, and €500,000 for chief executive at State-owned banks.
Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath condemned the situation, saying that ordinary staff at the bank – which is 99.8 per cent State-owned – were “living in fear that their job will be gone while the top executives continue to enjoy Celtic Tiger era mercs and perks”.