IBOA seeks meeting with AIB's new Executive Chairman after comments on Bank's UK Division

Issued : 1 November 2010

IBOA has called on the new Executive Chairman of AIB Group, Mr. David Hodgkinson, to clarify comments attributed to him in news reports that the Bank's planned sale of its businesses in Northern Ireland and Britain is now on hold after failing to get any decent bids.

"While we were aware that the proposal to dispose of AIB's UK Division was to be considered by the Board of AIB within the next few weeks," said IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick, "no one had told either the Union, the staff or the shareholders that the decision to withdraw the business from sale had already been taken. We believe that the staff whose livelihoods are inextricably linked to the future of these businesses deserved the courtesy of prior notification.

"Staff in First Trust Bank and AIB (GB) are entitled to feel somewhat confused in the present situation. For almost six months they have been bracing themselves for the possibility of a new owner while at the same time hoping that sense would prevail to ensure the Bank would remain within AIB Group.

"Now, it would appear that, although the Executive Chairman declined to comment on the future of the UK Division during the formal business of today's EGM, he decided to give an impromptu briefing on AIB UK to reporters afterwards.

"IBOA has urged Mr. Hodgkinson to meet the Union at the earliest opportunity to discuss this issue. Mr. Hodgkinson is alleged to have said that the Bank will re-examine all the options for the future of the UK Division. We would like the opportunity to meet him to highlight the case for retaining the Division as an integral element in the rebuilding of AIB Group as well as engaging in a more wide ranging discussion on the steps to be taken to ensure a balanced recovery of the Bank which addresses the concerns of all its stake-holders"