Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea has published legislation to crack down on big bonuses for senior bank staff over the next five years.
The Bankers Bonuses Bill (Credit Institutions Employee Deferral of Bonuses Bill 2012) would restrict bonuses of over €1,000 paid to bank employees on basic salaries of over €60,000 a year.
Deputy O’Dea explained, “Given the state of the banking sector at this time it is not acceptable that bank bosses would continue to get large bonuses that do simply do not reflect the current job market or the performance of the sector.
“We need to end short-term incentives for senior bank staff and move to a longer-term system of performance based bonuses. This is a simple piece of legislation that would require all of the covered financial institutions to defer bonuses of over €1,000 to staff on salaries of over €60,000 for a 5 year period. Where the employee’s performance has been exceptional or where there is a contractual entitlement to a bonus, the employee would receive the payment after 5 years under the condition that have not been directly involved in the bank losing more than €100,000 during that period.
“The bank would be required to invest all deferred bonuses in an interest bearing account that is independently managed on behalf of the employees.
“This is not about taking small bonuses from hard working bank staff who earn a small boost at Christmas. This is about stopping a situation that we have seen all too often in the past, where bank bosses earn excessive bonuses while jobs are cut and performance remains weak. Bonuses should be discretionary payments for exceptional performance, and not the norm as they has become.
“The Government has an obligation to ensure that the State covered institutions behave responsibly when it comes to bonuses and benefits. I intend to move this Bill in the Dáil in September and I am urging the Government to consider it carefully.”