Bank of Ireland’s chief executive Francesca McDonagh has blamed government restrictions on bankers’ pay and bonuses in Ireland for the announcement that chief financial officer Myles O’Grady would leave the bank and join Irish food group Musgrave.
Bankers’ pay is capped at €500,000 a year at banks in Ireland bailed out by the government during the financial crisis a decade ago, while bonuses are effectively banned.
The Irish government still owns about 12% of Bank of Ireland and is in the process of reducing its stake.
CEO McDonagh said: “Since joining Bank of Ireland, Myles has provided exceptional financial leadership to the group.
“He has helped steer the bank through the COVID-19 pandemic, overseeing a return to profitability in the first half of 2021.
“I want to personally thank Myles for his unwavering support and wish him the very best for his future.
“Myles’ decision to leave the Irish banking sector highlights the challenge that remuneration restrictions represent for Irish banks in attracting and retaining talent.
“The lack of a level playing field means Bank of Ireland is at a competitive disadvantage to other companies, corporates and PLCs who are not restricted in the same way.
“Any company in a similar position would highlight this as a serious challenge.
“The normalisation of our operations is now vital to the long-term sustainability of the indigenous banking sector.”
Bank of Ireland said: “Myles is expected to leave Bank of Ireland in March 2022 and a process to appoint his successor will now commence.
“In the meantime, Myles will remain in role for the coming months.
“Myles joined Bank of Ireland in June 2019 as finance director Ireland and was appointed CFO in October 2019 and a member of the board in January 2020.”
Musgrave Group said O’Grady will join the firm as its CFO in April 2022.
Musgrave CEO Noel Keeley said: “I am pleased to welcome Myles to Musgrave as CFO following a comprehensive recruitment process.
“As one of Europe’s leading family-owned businesses we are committed to delivering long-term sustainable growth.
“Given Myles’ experience in senior financial and business leadership roles he will be a fantastic asset in helping us achieve our ambitions.”