Belfast Telegraph

Shatter warns over bank bonuses

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has signalled bailed-out bankers may not be legally entitled to massive bonuses.

Warning he was setting down a marker, Mr Shatter said senior executives who left lenders needing taxpayer cash should not be rewarded with lucrative retirement packages.

"There is a serious issue as to whether they are in such fundamental breach of contract as to not be entitled to the rewards that they are seeking," he said.

Mr Shatter said Finance Minister Michael Noonan was examining what could be done about it.

He said it was completely unacceptable that bank bosses whose bad decisions helped bring about the destruction of the entire banking industry believed they were due enormous awards.

"Some of those who are responsible for where we now find ourselves, I think instead of demanding more money should hang their heads in shame and move on," he added.

Speaking at the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) annual conference, Mr Shatter said he was conscious everyone was "rightly infuriated" at huge retirement packages dished out to bankers.

He said employment contracts are two-way processes, and if an employee had failed in their function - by leaving an organisation in liquidation or needing outside funding - there was a serious question over whether they had breached their contract.

Mr Shatter refused to be drawn on specific individuals in the banking industry, but said he was putting down a marker on how it was appropriate to approach the issue.

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