Ireland’s bankers deserve a pay rise, the IMF has said, amid concern that the €500,000 cap on salaries has seen talent move abroad in search of higher wages.
The cap was introduced during the crash for staff at nationalised banks amid outcry at the huge salaries paid to individuals working for institutions that had brought the Irish economy to its knees.
However, more than a decade on the International Monetary Fund says that it is time for the Government to reconsider the policy.
For many Irish bankers, the IMF’s intervention is music to their ears and Brian Hayes of the Banking Federation of Ireland says it is long overdue:
“You speak to anyone in the private sector and the whole question of keeping talent and acquiring talent is really important to any business,” he told The Hard Shoulder.
“And the banks are no different.
“We have effectively 35 banking licences in Ireland but we have three of those 35 where there are very, very strict remuneration conditions imposed by the state.
“So those three banks have to compete with the other banks - international and domestic - and with digital companies to keep and retain talent that they need.
“Talent like blockchain experts, data analysts, digital engineers, people with AI experience.”
Mr Hayes says that all banks deserve what he calls a “level playing field” and that the cap had led to a brain drain with staff often leaving in search of higher pay elsewhere.
“We have a huge amount of turnover at the moment,” he continued.
“And if you look at very senior positions across the retail sector there’s a massive turnover.
“And I suppose the question - and I posed it this week at a conference I was speaking at - is there a systemic risk potentially in terms of the long-term business model of a bank if there is not the kind of continuity we want to see in senior management?
“And that’s the same for any business.”
Main image: Euro bank notes. Picture by: Alamy.com