A SENIOR OFFICIAL in Bank of Ireland was paid a ‘secret’ bonus worth €500,000 in the past few weeks without the knowledge of finance minister Brian Lenihan, it is claimed this morning.
The Irish Independent says at a high-ranking staff member in the Asset management division of Bank of Ireland got the top-up in the past couple of days, entirely without the knowledge or approval of the minister for finance.
The bonus would be one of the biggest paid by banking staff in the state, and comes less than a week after Lenihan told AIB it could not pay €56m in bonuses due to staff in its Capital Markets division without risking its state recapitalisations.
A Department of Finance spokesperson told the Independent that neither the minister, the department nor the National Treasury Management Agency had been aware of the payment.
The paper says the bonus came in the form of a guaranteed loyalty bonus given to executives who commit to staying with the institution for a certain number of years.
The Irish Times today reports that Ireland’s banks to date have paid €44m in bonuses to staff since the introduction of the banking guarantee in September 2008 – with staff in Anglo Irish Bank alone earning €20m in the latter months of 2008 before the institution was nationalised.
Details revealed after a parliamentary question from Joan Burton outlined that staff from Anglo, AIB, Irish Nationwide, Irish Life & Permanent and the EBS had all been paid bonuses; he was still awaiting a reply, he said, from the Bank of Ireland.