IBOA seeks talks on bank's future with new AIB Chairman

Issued : 28 October 2010

The appointment of former HSBC Chief Operating Officer, Mr. David Hodgkinson, as the new interim Executive Chairman of AIB Group has been welcomed by IBOA The Finance Union.

IBOA General Secretary, Mr. Larry Broderick, said that in view of the unprecedented challenges facing AIB, it is vital that the continuing uncertainty about its future direction should be dispelled as soon as possible.

"The staff of AIB have been subjected to intense pressure internally within the Bank as well as undeserved vilification externally from a public which has mistakenly held ordinary bank workers responsible for the irresponsible behaviour of senior management. It is important, therefore, that the new Executive Chairman becomes acquainted as soon as possible with the sacrifices our members have made in order to secure a future for AIB. IBOA is seeking to meet Mr. Hodgkinson at the earliest opportunity to apprise him of the staff's perspectives.

"We will also be seeking clarification about the future of AIB's UK Division which includes First Trust Bank (FTB) in Northern Ireland and Allied Irish Bank (GB) in Britain. While the Bank had previously indicated its intention to sell this business along with its Polish and American interests - against the advice of IBOA - we believe that the change in the leadership of the Bank which is now under way as a result of the changing ownership structure affords a timely opportunity to review that proposition.

"We believe that there is a convergence of interests between staff, customers and the Irish taxpayer (as the Bank's principal shareholder) in retaining FTB and AIB (GB) within the AIB Group. In our view, AIB's future prospects would be far healthier with - rather than without - its UK businesses as an integral part of the Group.

"We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter with the new Executive Chairman along with a number of other issues of particular concern to the many staff throughout the AIB Group who have worked so hard to sustain the Bank in the wake of the reckless policies and practices of its former leadership," said Mr. Broderick.