IBOA welcomes commitments from National Irish Bank and Danske Bank Group to remain in the Irish market and provide job security for staff

Issued : 9 August 2011

IBOA The Finance Union has welcomed the unequivocal statement from Danske Bank Group of its commitment to remain in Ireland and, in addition, that no further redundancies are envisaged - following last year's restructuring of its operations in the Republic of Ireland.

IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick, said: "The Chief Executive of National Irish Bank, Mr. Andrew Healy, confirmed at recent meetings with IBOA that the Strategic Restructuring Programme, which brought about significant change in National Irish Bank, is delivering significant benefits to the institution.

"In addition, IBOA very much welcomes the recent reaffirmation by Mr. Peter Straarup, Chairman of the Executive Board, Danske Bank, of Danske's commitment to Ireland through National Irish Bank. Mr. Straarup also acknowledges the major contribution staff have made to the Bank in the recent Restructuring Programme and commits to no further redundancies.

"At a time of huge uncertainty in the financial services sector both globally and nationally, these are welcome developments," said Mr. Broderick, "and offers some reassurance to staff in National Irish Bank who have been through a major restructuring programme over the last two years.

Mr. Broderick added that Danske Bank, National Irish Bank and IBOA have now concluded a Relationship Agreement which establishes a new framework for the conduct of industrial relations in a more structured way and recognises the need to put the mutuality of interest between the employer and the employees in a changing banking environment.

"Despite the challenging financial position faced by National Irish Bank, both its national and international managements recognise that its future success depends on the ongoing support of remaining staff," said the IBOA leader. "Today's strong reaffirmation of the commitment to Ireland and to the retention of jobs in Ireland is welcome news for staff and for customers. It is hoped that other banks learn from these developments."

Background note
National Irish Bank engaged in a major restructuring programme in 2010, resulting in the closure of over 21 branches and the reduction of over 150 staff. While these redundancies took place on a voluntary basis in line with industry norms, they were very challenging for remaining staff. While IBOA and staff in National Irish Bank had concerns in the past about the future commitment of Danske Bank to Ireland especially in view of the significant level of impaired loans on the balance sheet. Recent discussions between the Bank and IBOA in Ireland secured a commitment to job security and a new Relationship Agreement which has been endorsed by staff as a very positive outcome. In the last week, the parent company, Danske Bank Group, re-affirmed its commitment to Ireland and broadly endorsed these agreements. This press release is being issued today to mark the publication of the Bank's results.