FSU welcome Minister for Finance recognition that pay restrictions are affecting 23,000 ordinary workers in three retail Banks

25 October 2022

Restrictions should be lifted for ordinary workers – says FSU

John O’Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Services Union (FSU) has urged the Minister for Finance to support ordinary workers in the three main Banks by lifting the pay restrictions on variable pay and benefits up to €20,000.

Pay restrictions were imposed on the bailed-out banks over a decade ago. They include an imposition of a pay cap of €500,000 and an 89% tax on any bonuses paid over €20,000.

A further restriction on variable pay and benefits up to €20,000 was also imposed. This restriction effects 23,000 ordinary bank staff who are prevented from receiving any financial assistance with healthcare, childcare or any other form of variable pay or benefits.

Comment on the statement of the Minister for Finance Mr O’Connell said:

“I welcome the recognition by the Minister that the restriction on any variable pay or benefits up to €20,000 is having a direct effect on the ordinary staff in the three main banks.

These restrictions dictate that performance-based remuneration, profit share, and any other workplace benefits including health insurance and childcare cannot be paid to any staff members. These restrictions affect around 23,000 workers within the Irish banks.

The FSU believes that there are no longer compelling grounds for restricting the ability of ordinary bank employees to avail of variable pay and benefits.

Bank staff, like everyone else are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

Staff have worked professionally through Covid and in dealing with the additional workload due to the exit of Ulster Bank and KBC. They should not suffer due to bad decisions taken by others during the so-called boom times.

We, believe, that as a matter of equity, the Minister for Finance should remove the restriction on variable pay up to €20,000 per annum and standard workplace benefits.

This should happen without delay, and we would ask all political Party’s to support the decision and support workers.”