IBOA welcomes Minister's intervention on job losses in financial sector

Issued : 16 August 2010

IBOA The Finance Union has welcomed the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation's request to the major banks for clarification as to the potential for further redundancies in the financial services sector so that the State's enterprise agencies can work on appropriate strategies to address the issue.

IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick, said that Minister O'Keeffe's intervention is particularly welcome as speculation is rife that further substantial job losses are likely in AIB following the recent announcement that Bank of Ireland is to make another 750 staff redundant on a phased basis by the end of 2011.

These additional job losses come on the back of over 6,000 job losses in the financial services sector since the onset of the banking crisis two years ago.

"Despite the intense media speculation, AIB has so far failed to engage meaningfully with IBOA on its future plans," said Mr. Broderick. "While we appreciate that AIB is still in talks with the EU Commission over its viability plan, we believe that the broad thrust of its business strategy should now be in place and open to comment.

"The Minister's request to the banks to justify any job reductions in the context of the practical requirement to maintain services for business customers to support economic recovery is particularly appropriate," said the IBOA leader.

"IBOA has been warning for some time that the pursuit of short-term cost cuts (typically in the form of redundancies) may not only jeopardise the banks' own prospects for recovery in the medium to long term but also further reduce their capacity to contribute to sustainable growth in the economy as a whole.

Commenting on the possible role of State agencies in a co-ordinated response to unemployment within the financial services sector, Larry Broderick added:

“IBOA has been in correspondence with the Minister on this issue in recent months. So we welcome his intention to develop an initiative through which the enterprise agencies could provide practical support to financial services staff.

"We are ready to meet the Minister and the relevant State agencies to develop a suitable response which best meets the specific needs of the frontline staff in the industry - who are being asked to make the ultimate sacrifice - in the form of their jobs - as the collateral damage of the reckless and disastrous policies pursued by senior management," the IBOA leader added.