FSU welcomes imminent publication of the Banking Review Report

28 November 2022

Lifting of restrictions on variable pay and benefits up to €20,000 will benefit ordinary bank staff – says FSU

John O’Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Services Union (FSU) has welcomed the imminent publication of the Banking Review Report and media reports that the lifting of the restrictions on variable pay and benefits up to €20,000 is to be included in its findings.

Commenting on the expected publication of the report later today Mr O’Connell said

“The Financial Services Union were the first to call for a full banking review on the future of banking in the Republic of Ireland. Today’s publication follows months of discussions and dialogue with the Department of Finance and other stakeholders. Banking in Ireland is changing at a remarkable pace, and it is vital that contemporary regulation and legislation is in place to ensure that protections are in place for consumers, business and staff working in the sector.

The FSU expects that the restrictions on variable pay and benefits up to €20,00 imposed on the three bailed out banks as part of the bailout package will be removed.

This is a very welcome development. Staff in the retail banks should not be treated differently to other staff working in the wider financial services sector who have access to financial assistance with healthcare and childcare costs and access to approved profit-sharing schemes among other benefits.

The FSU submission to the Banking Review called for this action to be taken and for any additional pay or benefits to be agreed between the Union and the Banks so ordinary bank staff can be justly rewarded for their professionalism and skillsets.

We all need to work to ensure that the retail banking industry can again become the career path choice of graduates.

Proposed provisions to guarantee access to cash and recommended changes to the Central Bank Consumer Code are also welcome. Longer notice periods for bank branch closure and a legal obligation to publish an assessment of the effects of a branch closure were central to the FSU submission on managing change in the sector. We would expect that legislating for access to cash and protection of current customer services will form a central part of the recommendations of the review.

We will read the final report very carefully but if what is reported is fully encapsulated in the recommendations then the review will have been worthwhile exercise.”