Union calls for job strategy for banking

Issued : 3 February 2011

In the wake of the announcement of 350 job losses at Permanent TSB, IBOA the Finance Union has challenged the political parties to outline their strategy for the future of the financial services sector - especially in terms of jobs.

IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick, said that with close to 7,000 jobs already lost in the sector since the onset of the crisis in the autumn of 2008 and at least 2,000 more already earmarked to go in the near future, the need for a comprehensive and structured approach to the development of the financial services sector in Ireland was becoming urgent.

"Although the vast majority of staff in Permanent TSB are members of the UNITE trade union, we share the sense of shock and disappointment they are experiencing. It is an all too familiar feeling for staff throughout the Irish banking sector. It intensifies the sense of anxiety and foreboding among all staff working in the financial services sector.

"It is now almost two and a half years since the Government intervened with the blanket guarantee for the six Irish institutions. But we appear to be still no nearer to a common vision of the role of banking in Ireland's economy and society in the future. While we recognise that some restructuring of the sector is inevitable, there is still no discernible strategy for the future - even though most of the leading institutions are now wholly or partially owned by the State. As far as our members are concerned, the protection of the maximum number of jobs is paramount.

"As they seek to address the key economic and social issues facing this country in the General Election, we would urge all of the political parties to engage with us on their plans for our industry - so that both the public at large as well as the staff working in the sector have a clear sense of what the future might hold on this critically important issue."