Department of Finance interference threatens Bank of Ireland viability plan

Issued : 20 February 2012

Unwarranted interference by the Department of Finance in the day-to-day operations of Bank of Ireland is undermining the Bank's Viability Plan and threatening industrial peace, according to Larry Broderick, General Secretary of IBOA The Finance Union.

Commenting on the Bank's latest results, IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick, said that "while there has been a significant improvement in the Bank's performance in 2011, I am convinced that the performance would have been significantly better if the Department of Finance had allowed Bank of Ireland management to implement its Viability Plan in line with the agreements reached with the EU Commission and the IBOA.

"It is ironic," said Mr Broderick, "that the bank with the best chance of making a strong and timely recovery which would benefit both the economy and the taxpayer is being hamstrung by a Government Department pursuing a misguided and extremely risky agenda.

"Not only is the Department's action already creating unnecessary friction between management and staff in Bank of Ireland: it may also jeopardise the significant levels of private investment already made in Bank of Ireland and scare off potential investors in those financial institutions which are currently in majority State ownership," he said.

Mr. Broderick added that at a meeting between IBOA and the Bank's senior management today, there was a common understanding of the need to implement the Viability Plan in full. The Department of Finance should cease being an obstacle to progress by allowing the Bank of Ireland to move forward with its restructuring plan on the basis of the comprehensive agreement already made with IBOA.

"If the Bank attempts to restructure on any other terms," warned Mr. Broderick, "IBOA will have no option but to ballot for industrial action."