I believe ex-AIB Managing Director Colm Doherty should recover some professional dignity and hand the State part or all of the €3 million payment he received prior to and after leaving AIB.
These outrageous payments, which were signed off by the last Government, highlight the extent to which the Irish banking system has become rotten and needs tough action.
Because of the manner in which the last Government handled the supposed clear out of the executive level of Irish banks, we now have inherited a situation whereby obscene salaries are paid out to departing staff.
I think very few people in Ireland today could relate to a €3 million overall payment for a little over a year’s work. Mr Doherty was paid over €400,000 for his work as Managing Director during his brief period in charge of AIB. When the previous Minister for Finance terminated his contract, he also signed off on over €700,000 of payments in respect of lost wages and a staggering €2 million in a one off pension payment. The board of AIB at the time also signed off on this enormous amount, calling into question their actions in the public interest.
A person earning say €35,000 per annum, would make about €1.4 million after 40 years work, yet here we have a senior bank official pulling in almost double that for a year’s work.
It’s worth bearing in mind also that Colm Doherty was on the Board of AIB from 2003 and remained on the Board during a time when the bank accumulated incredible losses, which are now having to be paid by the taxpayers.
Unfortunately because of the actions of the last Government in agreeing these enormous salaries, the current government may not legally be able to force Mr Doherty to hand the money back. The days of these obscene salaries and pension payments are over and this Government will ensure that for any future bank executives.
I am calling on Colm Doherty to do the decent thing and hand back a substantial portion of this money to the Irish state.