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#Perks Outrage

# perks-outrage - Tuesday 10 August, 2010

FINE GAEL TD Leo Varadkar has criticised AIB for continuing with its staff benefit-in-kind schemes while simultaneously increasing interest rates on variable rate mortgages.

“I certainly don’t begrudge employees of the bank any benefits they may have,” Varadkar said. “However, this practice is reflective of the culture at AIB and many of the other banks, and that’s the culture of a big bank that still thinks it’s in the Celtic tiger-era.

“Banks have lots of buildings, lots of cars, lots of offices, lots of big salaries and lots of benefits and these are the things that need to be cut back before they increase interest rates on ordinary mortgage holders.”

The level of bank perks is also being criticised this lunchtime on RTÉ’s Liveline, with many mortgage payers sharing their disgust at the fact that the bank’s staff are still entitled to such perks, despite the bank being on the verge of being taken into state ownership.

In a statement today, AIB repeated its asssertion that said staff were “entitled to claim reimbursement of one sports and social club subscription for single membership in any one year.

“The amounts vary from half to full reimbursement of the fee with an upper limit of €2,500. ’Staff members must pay full tax on all of these payments and this is deducted through the bank’s payroll system.”

Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank have also said they operate similar procedures.

Earlier today TheJournal.ie revealed that the cost of the perk scheme could double the amount the bank makes in increased interest payments.