Bank manager was ‘devastated’ after being fired

A bank manager who was fired for breaching AIB’s code of ethics and conflict of interest guidelines yesterday revealed his devastation at losing his job.

Declan Maher said he and his family faced a bleak future after he was dismissed from his near €100,000-a-year job as bank manager of AIB Clifden, Co Galway, in 2011.

His dismissal followed an internal investigation and separate independent probe into a letter he wrote on AIB-headed notepaper, indicating sanction in principle for a $60m (€45m) loan to BMB — a partnership in which he held a 50% share.

An Employment Appeals Tribunal hearing earlier this year was told that in the letter, dated April 21, 2005, Mr Maher claimed AIB was “agreeable in principle” to advance $60m to BMB to complete the purchase of 100 villas in Florida.

It heard no official application was ever made and no loan ever issued in the matter. The bank concluded the letter was to encourage investment in the Florida project. AIB insisted Mr Maher had breached his duty of fidelity and trust and exposed it to damage.

Mr Maher denied the letter amounted to loan sanction in principle, insisting it was a marketing letter to attract new business for AIB.

“The effect of the bank’s dismissal has been financially and psychologically devastating,” he said yesterday.

“I don’t know why AIB did what they did... the bank have behaved disgracefully in this entire process.”

In cross-examination, Mr Maher agreed there had been no application for funds made by BMB.

Tribunal chairman Sean Mahon said the parties would be notified of its decision in due course.


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