AIB confirms 2,500 job losses

Allied Irish Banks has today confirmed that it is to lay off 2,500 workers - 500 more than it originally signalled.

The bank is looking to reduce its staff-related cost base by around €170m a year.

It is expected around half of those departures will be finalised this year, with the bank aiming to achieve the target on a voluntary basis.

However, AIB has warned that if the target is not met, it may have to consider other options.

Staff were informed of the job losses by email this morning.

Regarding the redundancy packages on offer, chief executive David Duffy said that the bank is aiming to implement a severance package "that is fair to people at all levels in the bank, while reflecting the very difficult financial position that AIB is in and the huge taxpayer support on which we continue to rely.

“I am confident that AIB will achieve sustainable profitability with a reduced cost base essential to delivering this recovery,” he said.

The Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) said talks would open with AIB senior management next week.

IBOA general secretary Larry Broderick said the scale of the cuts again shows ordinary bank workers suffer the consequences of mismanagement.

“This continuing haemorrhage of jobs in the financial sector shows no signs of abating,” the IBOA leader said.

“We need a realistic strategy to strengthen existing employment and create alternative opportunities.”

AIB said full details on the redundancy programme will be announced in early April.

It is understood bank chiefs are under pressure from Government to ensure pay-off arrangements do not exceed packages already offered to Health Service Executive workers this year – three weeks’ pay for every year of service on top of two weeks’ statutory redundancy.

The bank confirmed it was working within Government rules and wanted a speedy conclusion.

“The programme forms an important part of AIB’s return to sustainable profitability, allowing the bank to focus on its customers and support Ireland’s economic recovery,” the bank said.

AIB is the latest big bank to cut its workforce in Ireland after Bank of Scotland (Ireland) announced in 2010 it was pulling out of the country and Ulster Bank announced 950 redundancies in January.

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