As Taxpayers' Money Funds Bailouts, Banks Defy Cap to Pay off Executives
Byline: Luke Byrne
FOUR taxpayer-supported banks paid senior executives cash supplements to get around the Department of Finance salary cap, it has emerged.
AIB, Bank of Ireland, Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Life & Permanent all took part in the practice to pay off the executives who led the banks into crisis, meting out more than the [euro]500,000 salary cap introduced by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan in February 2009.
The details emerged in documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, which show that Mr Lenihan wrote to the banks last year ordering them to stop the allowances immediately.
Despite the fact that the banks owe their continued existence to the tens of billions of euro of funding from the Irish taxpayer and a blanket guarantee scheme for their debt, bank bosses saw no problem with attempting to get around the finance minister's guidelines.
Last year, the finance minister was criticised for considering allowing AIB to pay new managing director Colm Doherty [euro]633,000 a year, despite the salary cap. …