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Bailed-out bank chiefs to face Oireachtas questioning

Representatives from three bailed-out banks will be asked about whether the banks which received State money are acting in the public interest.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

SENIOR STAFF FROM three bailed-out banks will answer questions in front of an Oireachtas committee this week about whether the banks are acting in the public interest after receiving State funds.

Representatives from Bank of Ireland, AIB, and PTSB, all of which received substantial amounts of money from the State when they ran into extreme financial difficulties, will be grilled by TDs and Senators over two days on Wednesday and Thursday.

The representatives attending the committee meetings are all public interest directors for their respective banks, and were appointed by the government. This is the first time that the non-executive directors will answer questions about their role.

“Our meetings this week provide us with an opportunity to get an overview of the roles, responsibilities, duties and contribution of the public interest directors on the boards of banks which have been bailed out by the State,” said Labour TD Ciarán Lynch, the chair of the Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform.

“We will also be interested in receiving an outline of how the public interest directors have reported on their roles as directors”.

The directors are likely to be asked about the high salaries still being paid to some staff members at banks which were bailed out by the State, despite a public outcry.

Figures released last month show that almost 3,000 staff are being paid more than €100,000 per year at the institutions, with 27 earning more than €500,000.

Ciarán Lynch said the public interest directors will also be asked about how they carry out their roles, what distinguishes them from the other directors on the banks’ boards, to whom they report and their contribution to the banks’ policies.

Margaret Hayes and Ray MacSharry, the two public interest directors for PTSB, will appear before the committee at 3pm on Wednesday.

The Bank of Ireland public interest directors, Tom Considine and Joe Walsh, will meet the committee on Thursday morning at 9.30am while former Tánaiste Dick Spring, now the public interest director at AIB, will answer questions at 12.30 on Thursday.

IBRC is the only bailed-out institution not appearing before the Committee as chair Alan Dukes and CEO Mike Aynsley answered questions in front of the Committee in October.

Read: 27 bankers earning over €500,000 a year >

Read: TDs call on banks to be more humane and compassionate with borrowers >

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