Bank of Ireland paid its boss €831,000

Bank of Ireland paid chief executive Richie Boucher a gross salary of €690,000 last year, with additional benefits — including a €174,000 pension contribution — bringing his total remuneration package to €831,000.

The bank’s latest annual report shows Mr Boucher — who succeeded Brian Goggin three years ago — waived €67,000, bringing his gross pay down to €623,000. The gross figure was unchanged from last year, but the €831,000 total remuneration figure is considerably up. This is largely due to Mr Boucher waiving a €1m-plus pension contribution under his previous contract.

While executive pay at Bank of Ireland has been frozen in recent years, along with no bonuses being paid, its chief executive is still being paid more than the Government’s €500,000 salary cap. His remuneration contract was formally approved by the former finance minister, the late Brian Lenihan in 2009.

The other three members of Bank of Ireland’s executive director team last year were also paid more than €500,000 in basic salary. Des Crowley pocketed €570,000 (€607,000 in total remuneration), Denis Donovan took home €660,000 (€872,000 total) and former financial officer John O’Donovan received €550,000 (€687,000 total).

Last month, Bank of Ireland — which is due to hold an annual general meeting next month — published a relatively positive set of annual results for 2011. They showed a substantial slashing of pre-tax losses from €950m to €190m.

On a net basis, Bank of Ireland generated a profit of €40m, becoming the first domestic bank to do so since the economic downturn took hold three years ago.

However, the bank’s impairment charges — to cover losses from non-performing loans — rose by 4% to nearly €1.94bn.

At the presentation of those results, Mr Boucher spoke of how the bank is now in a position where its key focus is restoring its profitability, despite trading conditions remaining challenging.

“We remain on track to meet our balance sheet restructuring and cost reduction targets within the previously envisaged timeframes,” Mr Boucher said.

Bank of Ireland has cut its staff numbers by 7% to 3,700 as part of its restructuring process. It has also cut costs by 8%.

Mr Boucher also said last month that management will continue to look at making efficiency gains, but refused to put a figure on potential further staff reductions.

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