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Gillian Bowler - the latest 'great survivor' of the banking crisis - will step down when a successor has been appointed. Julien Behal/PA Archive

Bowler to retire as chair of Irish Life & Permanent

Gillian Bowler will step down from the helm of Irish Life & Permanent once her successor has been appointed.

THE CHAIRMAN of Irish Life & Permanent, Gillian Bowler, has confirmed she is to resign from her position once a replacement has been appointed.

Bowler – who was the last chairman or chief executive of an Irish banking institution to survive the banking crisis beginning in 2008 – tendered her resignation to a board meeting on Tuesday night, the Irish Independent reports, and will make way for her successor in the New Year.

Bowler has denied that her resignation was connected to the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill, passed by the Dáil yesterday, which gives the Minister for Finance unprecedented powers to intervene in the management of ailing institutions.

“It was pure coincidence that I did it on this day,” she told the Independent, saying if she had known about the imminent publication of the Bill she would “have gone a week earlier.”

Bowler was the founder of Budget Travel and was due to step down in May regardless, when her six-year term would have ended. IL&P chief executive Kevin Murphy paid tribute to Bowler, saying she had helped it “navigate the crisis” of recent years, RTÉ reports.

Irish Life & Permanent is currently one of the two last outstanding bidders to acquire EBS from the state; Bowler had hoped she could complete that takeover under her tenure, but said she would step aside to allow a new chairman oversee the acquisition and merger of the two operations.

The Irish Times reports that Bowler had come under pressure to resign when it emerged that IL&P had loaned Anglo Irish Bank €7bn in September 2008 so as to artificially manipulate the accounts of the latter institution.