By Ailish O’Hora
Monday January 17 2011
MILLIONS of euro in bonuses have been paid to Bank of Ireland staff since the introduction of the bank guarantee.
The Government yesterday confirmed that it has launched an investigation into the payments after bank officials admitted supplying incorrect and misleading information on staff bonuses to the Dail.
Banks bailed out by the taxpayer have paid bonuses totalling €45m since being guaranteed by the State, including €20m to staff at the failed Anglo Irish Bank.
When Finance Minister Brian Lenihan outlined bonus figures in December, the sum recorded for Bank of Ireland was nil. But it has now emerged that bonuses were paid.
While the payment amount is not yet known, it will be established as part of the Department of Finance enquiry and will run into millions.
Under the terms of the Subscription Agreement that Bank of Ireland signed on receiving taxpayers’ money in March 2009, it also had to disclose payments of bonuses connected to work done between 2006 and 2008 to the minister.
The Department of Finance and the Attorney General’s office is also investigating whether the payment to the executive at the asset management division falls under the terms of that agreement.
The misinformation from the bank on bonuses emerged through a Dail question tabled by Labour finance spokeswoman Joan Burton last week.
A spokesperson for the bank said yesterday there was no intention to mislead.
Donal Mac Fhearraigh