DUBLIN, Sept 25 Ireland's Finance Minister
Michael Noonan is considering a request from state-controlled
Allied Irish Banks (AIB) (ALBK.I) to appoint a new chief
executive with a salary above the current cap of 500,000 euros,
a finance ministry spokesman said on Sunday.
"News that the government is even considering the AIB
request to sanction a salary in excess of 500,000 euros will be
greeted with shock and disbelief," Michael McGrath, the finance
spokesman for the opposition Fianna Fail's party, said in a
statement on Sunday.
A spokesman for AIB declined to comment.
AIB's executive chairman, David Hodgkinson, told a
parliamentary committee earlier this month that the bank may
have to offer a salary of up to 690,000 euros to attract the
right candidate for the CEO role.
The finance ministry spokesman for Noonan said, however,
that current government policy allows for no more than an
annual salary of 500,000 euros for bank executives.
A government-appointed body had recommended a maximum
salary for bank CEOs of 690,000 euros in 2009 but the previous
finance minister, Fianna Fail's Brian Lenihan, had capped it at
500,000 euros amid widespread public anger at how reckless
lending at Irish banks had triggered an economic meltdown.
AIB, which was effectively nationalised late last year, has
been without a CEO or managing director for nearly 12 months.
Last week, an Irish newspaper said two men were in the
running for the AIB job; Brendan McDonagh, a former head of
HSBC's (HSBA.L) North American operations and David Duffy, who
has held international roles with ING Barings and South
Africa's Standard Bank (SBKJ.J). [ID:nL5E7KI0BX]
(Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Diane Craft)