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Data breach involving payments to current and former IBRC staff

Dozens of current and former staff at the former Anglo Irish Bank have been affected by the data breach.

The headquarters of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
The headquarters of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
Image: Wanderley Massafelli/Photocall Ireland

A PERSONAL DATA breach at the former Anglo Irish Bank has seen letters and payments sent to the wrong people with dozens of current and former employees at the liquidated bank affected.

The special liquidators at the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), KPMG, have confirmed a personal data breach involving cheques that were “misdirected” to 77 staff and former staff at the bank.

The special liquidators confirmed in a statement to TheJournal.ie that staff and ex-staff who have been affected have been notified and the Data Protection Commissioner has also been informed.

The breach concerns minimum notice payments sent to 77 current and former employees at the bank in the form of cheques. The addresses of the 77 employees were mixed-up resulting in the wrong payments, which are in lieu of notice, going to the wrong current and former staff members.

As IBRC workers were not given notice of their redundancy prior to the bank’s dramatic liquidation in February they are entitled to these minimum notice payments which are usually calculated based on the duration of employment.

‘Regret the breach’

Some staff are understood to be unhappy with the slow pace of the minimum notice payments being processed with just 200 of around 750 applications processed in the six months since the bank’s dramatic liquidation. Now, 77 of these have been temporarily cancelled as a result of the data breach.

In its full statement, the special liquidators said: “The Special Liquidators to IBRC (in special liquidation) wish to confirm that a personal data breach has occurred involving correspondence being mis-directed to certain IBRC staff and ex-staff.

“A number of letters totalling 77 were sent to current and ex-employees of IBRC along with a payment by way of cheque in lieu of statutory minimum notice.

“The Special Liquidators became aware of the incident on August 20th and immediately took action to notify the IBRC staff and ex-staff affected by phone, email and letter, notify the Data Protection Commissioner, and take action to resolve the matter with minimum further impact to those individuals concerned.   The Special Liquidators regret that this breach occurred.”

The Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) informed its 300 members involved with IBRC of the breach in a letter sent today and seen by TheJournal.ie. Describing it as a “gross error”, IBOA general secretary Larry Broderick said it has informed the relevant authorities.

Long-running dispute

For months, IBOA members at the bank have been in dispute with KPMG over changes to their redundancy terms following the dramatic liquidation of the bank in February. Some workers have left the bank altogether, some have been rehired to deal with the winding down of its loan book.

The main dispute centres on redundancy terms for IBRC staff who were entitled to four weeks’ pay per year of service prior to liquidation. This has now been replaced by statutory redundancy of two weeks’ pay per year of service, effectively halving redundancy packages for many workers.

In its latest letter to IBRC-based members IBOA also said that it was concerned that the liquidator has been rehiring staff, who exited on agreed redundancy terms, to work alongside staff while the redundancy issue remains unresolved.

IBOA urged its members to contact their local TD and implore them to lobby the Minister for Finance to instruct a mediator to resolve the dispute.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has previously said that it would be legally problematic to give staff anything more than statutory redundancy.

Read: Noonan insists IBRC staff can only get statutory redundancy

Read: ‘All we’re looking for is a fair deal’ – An IBRC worker on the impact of liquidation

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Hugh O'Connell

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