Allied Irish Bank chiefs admitted that new legal actions could be taken by some of the 2,400 executives who were to share in the $53 million in bonuses.
Alan Kelly, AIB’s Corporate Services Manager said “We would expect that legislation would put the bank in a stronger position to be able to defend any cases that would be taken.”
Ireland’s Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan now plans to rush new legislation through parliament before Christmas. He said “I don't want the taxpayer exposed to any claim by these individuals.”
Backbench politician Chris Andrews brought the news of AIBs bonuses into the public realm. He told the Evening Herald said that some of his colleagues called him mad but that he saw blocking the bonuses as “a defining moment in the banks”.
He continued “A couple of people said I was mad to blow the whistle but it just shows that there is no place for this attitude in Ireland anymore.
“Some bankers seemed to think that they can ride roughshod over ordinary people time and again.”
He added that it could “be the start of a new regime in the banks where they do what they are told, not what they want”.