Finance Union seeks 6% pay increase for staff in the main retail Banks

18 November 2021

Staff deserve proper recognition for the huge work done

John O’Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Services Union has called for an inflation proofed pay increase for staff working in the main retail Banks and an increase in the entry point pay scale. Speaking at a meeting of the General Council of the FSU Mr O’Connell said:

“The backdrop to pay negotiations this year is that all our main retail Banks have reported a return to profitability in 2021, significantly earlier than any of them had envisaged.

Brought about by a mixture of decreased competition and a growing economy that has Banks talking about a return to paying dividends to shareholders and lobbying hard for the lifting of the pay cap and a return of bonus schemes for senior executives.

An analysis of media reports over the past few weeks show:

A Davy analyst estimates that AIB bank may be sitting on about €900 millions of surplus capital.

Bank of Ireland has reported a 17% increase in operating profit - pre-impairment - to the end of September compared to the same period in 2019, pre-Covid.

PTSB expects its planned acquisition of €7.6 billion of mortgages and small business loans from Ulster Bank to boost its profitability by 50 per cent over the medium term.

“A profitable stable banking sector is good for staff, good for customers and good for society.

It is not the intention of the FSU to denigrate this success, a turnaround in banking is welcome but it is the Unions role to argue and campaign for the proceeds of success to be shared. If dividends are returning for shareholders, staff are entitled to expect an appropriate reward for their huge contribution in providing a stable banking system throughout the pandemic.

Staff also need and deserve a proper return for the huge work they have done over the last two years where their professionalism has helped transform the banks, playing a vital role in their return to profitability.

This year’s pay round needs to reflect and value this contribution, recognise the work and dedication of staff, and be cognisant of the increased costs that workers now incur in their daily life.

The Finance sector is recognised as one of the worst offenders in terms of the gender pay gap at 32% and we need to agree action plans to end this scandal.

Entry level pay needs to be addressed which will help recruit and retain staff.

Any negotiated pay increase should address the huge cost of living for Bank workers in Ireland which has had a direct effect on the living standards of our members.

Staff deserve respect and just reward and the FSU stance on pay negotiations this year with the main retail Banks will reflect that.”