AIB job cuts plan a hammer blow for bank staff

Ged Nash TD
02 December 2020
  • Moratorium on economic lay-offs needed for banking sector
  • Minister must use his power to prevent 1500 planned job cuts at bank in which State is majority shareholder
  • AIB management must immediately engage with Financial Services Union (FSU)

Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Ged Nash has expressed his shock at the announcement from Allied Irish Bank that it plans to make 1,500 staff redundant. The TD for Louth & East Meath said;

“The planned cutting of over 1,500 staff by AIB top brass with no real engagement with the Financial Services Union (FSU) is completely ill-conceived and badly timed, coming as it does on top of the Christmas period.

“In August, I publicly called on all banks to agree to a 12-month moratorium on layoffs to protect workers during the worst of COVID-19. The Minister for Finance should have led by example by making sure that a 12-month moratorium was imposed on a bank like AIB where the State owns a majority shareholding.

“He must now immediately use his power to put a halt to these planned layoffs at what is in essence a publicly owned bank.

“This completely avoidable move stinks of senior management ruthlessly availing of a crisis as cover to engage in short-sighted cost-cutting measures and staffing cuts.

“Recent reports have indicated that AIB is well-capitalised and well-placed to see it through to the other side of the pandemic.

“This decision which will impact on tens of thousands of citizens across the country is all the more mystifying in light of AIB’s plans to buy back Goodbody Stockbrokers at a premium price.

“This is nothing more than a trophy acquisitions which may end up bringing back big banking bonuses.

“All of this comes on the back of AIB imposing this week, for the first time, banking fees on around 200,000 customers who have under €2,500 in their accounts. This is a particular issue for the lower paid and for many older customers.

“I have repeatedly urged the Minister to renegotiate the Relationship Framework Agreement struck when Irish citizens rescued AIB in order to ensure that the public interest is better served.

“Despite his refusal, there is in my view nothing legally preventing him from seeking to re-write the bailout agreement to get a better deal for the taxpayer on the back of our investment.

“Instead of discussing job losses at AIB we should be debating ways in which the State’s interest in this key bank could be leveraged to better support our economic recovery.”

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