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					DECEMBER 2010

The bleak

                            infra: red

                            SHORTCUTS                    SHORTCUTS
                            Art for art’s sake • £1.5m   File corruption wreaks
                            award to banker • Euro       havoc at Australian bank
                            title for Deutsche Bank      • Former RBS directors
                            chief • Barclays Ireland     escape sanction •           NEWSFOCUS                   CULTURESHIFT
                            boss steps down •            Central Bank to the world   Financial aid package to    From best case to basket case: How did it all go
                            Facebook post leads to                                   impose major cost on        wrong?
                            dismissal                                                banking sector
                                              4-5                          6-7                              8                                                 9-12

                            CULTURE                      CULTURE                     SAFETY
                            SHIFT                        SHIFT                       FEATURE
                            MCR: Union seeks talks       Excessive executive pay –   Heartaches • Play safe!
                                                                                     Work safe! • Austerity
                            with Central Bank            a concern to Central Bank
                                                                                     will lead to more working   IBOANEWS
                                                                                     wounded • Lack of           There is a better, fairer way!
                                                                                     safety inspections

                                                14                          16                   18-19                                                              20

                            HOUSECALLS                   EUNION                      YOUTHNEWS
                            Close encounters of          IBOA-TV: a new departure    educ8-instig8-activ8
                            the Santa kind • Area        • Keeping us informed
                            meetings • Pensioners’
                            Committee Biennial                                                                   SPORTSSOCIAL

                            Meeting                                                                              Belfast Bankers’ Club • Irish Bankers’ Club Draw

                                                21                          22                          23                                                          24
                                   The QuarTerly Magazine froM iBoa – The finance union

2                                 SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                                                   infra: red

SPORTSSOCIAL WORKPLACE                                  WORKPLACE                    WORKPLACE                     WORKPLACE
Happy famillies at Belfast NEWS                         NEWS                         NEWS                          NEWS
Zoo • Pantomimes             IBOA refers NIB pension    Union secures full payment   Bank of Ireland seeks to      Mediated talks follow 24-
                             changes to Labour Court    of promotion increases •     raise more capital • BOI      hour strike at HP CDS
                                                        MCR issue goes to Labour     announces job cuts in
                                                        Court • Health & safety      Northern Ireland & Britain
             26-27                              28                          29                            30                            31

WORKPLACE                    WORKPLACE                  LIFESTYLE                    FLICKPICK                     MUSIC
NEWS                         NEWS                       The Gift of Life             Angelina and Johnny in        MAESTRO
IBOA seeks greater clarity   Talks continue over                                     The Tourist                   Cool as Fire! • Elvis
about AIB’s future • Bonus   transfer of BOI IT                                                                    lives!
row distresses AIB staff •   contract to IBM • INBS
Talks continue with AIB      set to merge with Anglo?

             32-33                       34-35                        36-37                               39                            40

                                                                                                                                                 IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION

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                                                                                           and 29, Malone Road, Belfast. BT9 6RU.
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Too big too fail • Living    IRFU’s wishful thinking    Breaking banks • Botoxi-
Dolls: Free to choose                                   fication • A chip off the
                                                                                             General Secretary: Larry Broderick
(from a limited menu)        IBOAQUIZZES                old block • New bank
                                                        policies • Rising sum •
                                                                                            Honorary Secretary: Tommy Kennedy
                             Prize crossword•Picture                                      Communications Manager: Séamas Sheils
                             board • Sudoku challenge   Bankrupt banker • And
                                                        finally…                          Advertising enquiries to Anna O’Doherty or

                    41                   42-45                        46-47                   Louise O’Donnell in IBOA House.
                                                                                              Spectrum is printed on recycled paper and
                                                                                               wrapped for posting in oxy-degradable poly-
SeaSonS greetingS to all our readerS                                                           thene at W & G Baird, Antrim, Northern Ireland.

                                                                                                         SPECTRUM                                    3
                                                                                                                   december 2010
                            short: cuts

                                 Oksana Denysenko

                            London tribunal
                            awards £1.5m to
                            banker sacked
                            on return from
                            maternity leave
                            A London-based investment
                            banker who was made
                            redundant shortly after return-
                                                                 Art for art’s sake
                            ing to work from maternity
                            leave was awarded £1.5 million
                                                                 At last Anglo-Irish shares are finally
                            recently by an employment
                                When Oksana Denysenko
                                                                 worth something in artwork
                            came back to work as a vice-         Worthless Anglo Irish Bank shares, which once            The limited edition of 35 prints were
                            president with Credit Suisse after   peaked at E17, appear to have recovered some         originally sold by a Dublin gallery last August for
                            the birth of her daughter, she       of their value since they were incorporated in a     €19.71.
                            found that the colleague cover-      work of art recently by Dublin-based artist,             However, one print offered for auction
                            ing her position was still there.    Frank O'Dea.                                         on eBay recently attracted a bid of €218 – a
                                The two continued to work            Anglo investors, who donated shares in           staggering increase of 1,106%.

                            together for seven months before     response to the artist’s appeal earlier this year,       "The people who gave me their shares
                            Ms. Denysenko was told two           each received a free print of the artwork,           thought they were worthless,” commented
                            people were no longer needed         The Anglo Irish Bank Shareholder, showing a          Frank O’Dea.
                            in the role.                         distressed investor sitting at a bar with his            “I’m delighted to have turned it into art
                                Although Credit Suisse con-      worthless share certificates beside him.             which is continuing to rise in value,” he said.
                            tested the case, an employment
                            tribunal in East London ruled
                            that Ms. Denysenko had suffered
                            discrimination because she was

                            chosen for redundancy as a
                            direct result of her maternity
                                The tribunal ruled that she
                            be paid £656,104 in compensa-
                            tion for loss of future earnings
                            and injury to feelings – with a

                            further £900,000 to cover lost
                            bonuses, wages for one and a
                                                                                10% discount on any mobile phone*
                            quarter years and an enhanced                      or mobile accessory for IBOA members
                            redundancy package.
                                The total award equates to                           in the Republic of Ireland.
                            more than 18 times her basic                                            *except the Apple i-Phone

4                                 SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                                         short: cuts
Barclays                                                                                                Facebook
Ireland chief                                                                                           post leads
steps down                                                                                              to dismissal
The managing director of
Barclays Bank Ireland plc, John
                                                                                                        for RBS
O'Connor, has stepped down
after two-and-a-half years in                                                                           worker
the position “to pursue other
interests.”                                                                                             An employee of Royal Bank of
     Responding to the news,                                                                            Scotland was sacked without
a spokesman for the Bank said                                                                           compensation recently after a
that Barclays remains “com-                                                                             co-worker told her boss about
mitted” to its Irish operation –                                                                        posts she had made on Face-
which employs around 120                                                                                book.
people, mainly in corporate                                                                                  When the Bank announced
banking, wealth manage-                                                                                 in September that it was to cut
ment and the group’s invest-                                                                            3,500 jobs, Kate Furlong sus-
ment banking arm, Barclays                                                                              pected she would be one of
Capital.                                                                                                those to be laid off.
     John O’Connor, who also                                                                                 She outlined her suspicions
worked for UBS, Fortis and                                                                              rather exuberantly on Face-
                                                                                                        book, as follows:
Bank of Ireland before joining
                                                                                                             “I speak for myself when I
Barclays Ireland, called for a
                                                                                                        say ‘WoOOOOooooOooooHO
return to the basics of banking
                                                                                                        oooOooOoo’ it was pretty damn
last year.                                                                                              obvious something like this
     “Will we go back to boring    European Banker of the Year 2010 is Deustche Bank Chief
                                   Executive, Josef Ackermann.                                          was coming. I'm neither stupid
banking? Well, what I ask is                                                                            nor naive… and quite honestly
boring banking? Is boring                                                                               it is the best news ever as far
banking doing what you should
have been doing all along?
     “Is that boring banking?
                                   Deutsche Bank boss                                                   as I am concerned!”
                                                                                                             “It was not unexpected.
                                                                                                        I’ve just hung on by my finger-
Maybe we should drop the
‘boring’ and just call it bank-
ing,” declared O’Connor.
                                   wins controversial                                                   tips to stick around long enough
                                                                                                        for a nice pay-out when they
                                                                                                        could’ve had me out long ago

                                   European title                                                       without a penny! More fool

                                                                                                                                           IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                                                                                        them! Haha! Xx.”
                                                                                                             After a work colleague
                                                                                                        reported her, the Bank re-

                                   Deutsche Bank CEO, Josef Ackermann, has been named
                                   ‘European Banker of the Year’ by a panel of economic                 sponded by ordering her to
                                   journalists who praised his leadership of Deutsche Bank              appear at a disciplinary hear-
                                   during troubled times.                                               ing, where she was sacked
                                                                                                        without compensation.
 Special discounts are avail-           That view may not be         pean Central Bank and Jean-
                                                                                                             She's now suing for unfair
 able for IBOA members on          shared by the 20,000 staff cut    Claude Juncker, Prime Minister
 hotel breaks throughout           from Deustche Bank since          of Luxembourg, along with
 Ireland.                          Ackermann became Deutsche         Peter Wuffli of UBS who was

                                   Bank’s first non-German chief     ousted as CEO for excessive
                                   executive officer in 2006. Indeed risk-taking just two years after
 Check out either of the IBOA      the Swiss-born boss is regarded   winning the award in 2005.
 websites on          by many as a controversial             The 2003 winner was
 members/otherservices or          choice for a title with a track   another CEO with an aggres-          record for unusual selections.    sive approach to cutting staff –
 otherservices for further

                                        First awarded in 1994, the   Fred “the Shred” Goodwin of
 information on the special        European Banker of the Year       RBS – who subsequently brought
 offers currently available to     roll of honour includes senior    Ulster Bank’s parent company
                                   public policy-makers, such as     to the brink of collapse in 2008
 IBOA members.                     Jean-Claude Trichet of the Euro-  and needing major State aid.

                                                                                                        SPECTRUM                               5
                                                                                                              december 2010
                            short: cuts

                             Fred ‘the Shred’ Goodwin

                            Former RBS
                            The UK’s Financial Services
                            Authority (FSA) has closed its
                            investigation into the near
                            collapse of Royal Bank of Scot-
                            land (RBS). Even though the         The launch of National Australia Bank’s new logo has been overshadowed by the impact of
                            Edinburgh-based bank needed         the corrupt computer file.
                            a £45bn rescue package from
                            the British Exchequer, the FSA
                            is to take no action against any
                            of its former directors – includ-
                            ing Sir Fred Goodwin, its Chief
                                                                File corruption wreaks
                                                                havoc at Australian bank
                            Executive at that time.
                                 The FSA appointed Price-
                            waterhouseCoopers to analyse
                            the events that preceded the

                            near collapse of RBS in October
                            2008. The consultants con-
                            cluded that while its senior
                                                                W      hile allegations of corruption in
                                                                       banking have been commonplace
                                                                in many parts of the world, corruption
                                                                                                                    transfers to other accounts in NAB and even to
                                                                                                                    accounts in a number of other banks.
                                                                                                                         The Bank was forced to run full-page adver-
                            management made poor                                                                    tisements in the Australian press to express its
                            judgments, there are no grounds     of a different kind wrought havoc at one            regret for what happened and its commitment
                            to take enforcement action          of Australia’s largest financial institutions       to resolve the issue.
                            against the individuals involved.   recently.                                                NAB which operates over 1,700 branches
                                 So far only one former RBS         A corrupt electronic file is believed to have   and service centres and almost 3,000 ATMs has
                            executive – Johnny Cameron,                                                             recently completed a major rebranding cam-

                                                                been behind a recent systems meltdown at
                            head of the investment division     National Australia Bank (NAB) – which not only      paign – involving the adoption of a new logo
                            – has been subjected to public      meant that thousands of customers ran out of        and a new popular name – ‘nab’ rather than
                            censure by the FSA.                 cash recently but also generated a large number     ‘National.’
                                 In May the Authority agreed                                                             The adverse publicity arising from this event
                                                                of bogus transactions.
                            not to take disciplinary action                                                         has severely deflated the momentum behind the
                            against him in return for an            File corruption on the Bank’s mainframe
                                                                                                                    attempted re-launch of the brand.

                            undertaking from Cameron            computer – apparently caused by a failed up-             National Australia Bank was active in the Irish
                            that he would not hold any          grade – meant that thousands of personal and        banking scene for eighteen years. NAB acquired
                            “significant influence function”    business customers were unable to access their      Northern Bank in 1987 and renamed Northern
                            at a City firm or “undertake        accounts through ATM machines.                      Bank’s Republic of Ireland operation as National
                            any further full-time employ-           It also halted payments or caused them to       Irish Bank in 1988 before eventually completing
                            ment in the financial services      be read incorrectly, added fictitious debits to     the sale of the two institutions in 2005 to their
                            industry.”                          other customer accounts and conducted money         current owner, Danske Bank, of Denmark .

6                                 SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                                        short: cuts
                                                                                                            A number of foreign
                                                                                                       banks also benefitted from
                                                                                                       the Fed's support – including
                                                                                                       AIB which received emergency
                                                                                                       loans totalling $27 bn.
                                                                                                            Barclays, Royal Bank of
                                                                                                       Scotland, Bank of Scotland
                                                                                                       (now part of Lloyds), Abbey Na-
                                                                                                       tional and HSBC also received
                                                                                                       billions in loans.
                                                                                                            The release of details of
                                                                                                       21,000 transactions – against
                                                                                                       the Fed’s wishes – was secured
                                                                                                       by Senator for Vermont, Bernie
                                                                                                       Sanders, who said he found
                                                                                                       it “most surprising” that
 Ben Bernanke, Chairman of                                                                             huge sums were used to
 the US Federal Reserve Board                                                                          bail out foreign banks and
                                                                                                            “Has the Federal Reserve of

Central Bank to the World?                                                                             the United States become the
                                                                                                       central bank of the world?,”
                                                                                                       he said.
                                                                                                            “I intend to investigate
The chaos at the height of the global financial crisis was far more extensive than                     whether these secret Fed loans,
previously thought, according to previously classified documents released by the US                    in some cases turned out to
Federal Reserve recently, which revealed that emergency funding was provided to                        be direct corporate welfare to
billionaire investors and international corporations like Toyota and General Electric,                 big banks that used these
as well banks.                                                                                         loans not to re- invest in the
     Among the many bene-         lending reached $3,300bn at         $2,000 bn to Morgan Stanley;     economy but rather to lend
ficiaries of Federal aid were     its peak.                           $1,800 bn to Citigroup; nearly   back to the federal government
Harley-Davidson, Caterpillar,          In addition the Fed provided   $1,000 bn to Bear Stearns;       at a higher rate of interest by
Verizon and even computer         short-term loans to Goldman         and about $1,500 bn to Merrill   purchasing treasury securities,”
billionaire, Michael Dell. This   Sachs of nearly $600bn; nearly      Lynch.                           he said.

                                                           Great savings and offers for IBOA
                                                           members in Great Britain and Northern

                                                                                                                                          IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                                           Ireland from Thomas Cook – including a
                                                           6% discount on thousands of holidays.

                                                           Just call 0870-0102904 – quoting reference
                                                           IBOA – or visit

                                                                                                       SPECTRUM                               7
                                                                                                             december 2010
                            headline: news

                             Ajai Chopra from the IMF, Istvan Szekely from the EU Commission and Klaus Masuch from
                             the ECB at the press conference to announce the financial aid package for Ireland. (Photo:
                             Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland).

                            Financial aid package demands high price in interest charges –
                            but what will be cost to banking in Ireland?
                            As part of the recently agreed ¤85 billion           Accordingly IBOA is seeking a meeting          crucial time for the sector and by the neg-
                            aid package for Ireland – with support          with the Minister for Finance, the Head of          ative impact on the economy of lost tax
                            from the International Monetary Fund, the       Financial Regulation and the Governor of            revenue, increased welfare costs and reduced
                            EU Commission and the European Central          the Central Bank in order to clarify the            consumer spending,” he pointed out.
                            Bank – a number of specific commitments         implications of these developments for the               “With over 6,000 jobs lost within the
                            were made about the future of the Irish         future of Irish banking and in particular           sector since the crisis began in 2008 and
                            banking industry, including the following:      for jobs in the industry. IBOA is seeking           with many more already scheduled to go
                                                                            clarification as to the implications for            in the next twelve months, ordinary bank
                            • a new core tier 1 capital ratio of 12%        foreign- as well as domestically-owned              officials are continuing to pay a significant
                              must be met by 28 February 2011 for           banks.                                              price for the widescale mismanagement of

                              AIB, Bank of Ireland and EBS and by 31             “While bank officials have always              this industry – while those who actually
                              May 2011 for Irish Life & Permanent.          recognised that some consolidation would            made those decisions have generally
                            • a prudential liquidity assessment             be inevitable within the banking sector,            enjoyed a soft landing courtesy of golden
                              review will be conducted at Bank of           our members have become increasingly                parachutes.
                              Ireland, AIB, Irish Life and Permanent        concerned as speculation about the possible              “In contrast to the knee-jerk responses
                              and EBS to be finalised by April 2011.        scale of this restructuring has intensified,”       to market fluctuations which have charac-
                            • NAMA is to be extended to take                said the Union’s General Secretary, Larry           terised policy in more recent months, the
                              further property and development              Broderick.                                          IMF/EU/ECB intervention should at least
                              loans from AIB and Bank of Ireland.                “It is important, therefore, that clarity is   stabilise the funding position of Irish banks

                                                                            provided as soon as possible on the extent          to allow for a more considered review of
                            As well as these specific commitments,          and nature of this reconfiguration of the           the banking system as a whole to deter-
                            further references were made to the re-         banking sector – for the sake of staff and          mine what kind of financial framework is
                            structuring of the banking sector in Ireland.   indeed for the sake of customers,” he said.         required to support economic growth and
                            However, apart from the comments from                “A key concern for IBOA will be to pro-        social development in the future.”
                            the Governor of the Central Bank about          tect the maximum number of jobs within                   “Furthermore, if this restructuring of

                            the disappearance of the Anglo brand early      the industry at this time. In particular we         the banking system is to be genuinely
                            in the New Year and a joint restructuring       will be urging the authorities to resist the        effective, it is vital that it secures the fullest
                            proposal to be put the EU Commission by         temptation to reduce costs by implement-            possible buy-in from the staff who will be
                            Anglo amd Irish Nationwide, there has           ing further staff cuts.                             required to deliver it. This requires proper
                            been nothing to indicate how the other               “Any short-term gains from such an             engagement based on meaningful consul-
                            financial institutions operating in Ireland     approach are likely to be more than offset          tation, negotiation and agreement,” the
                            might be affected.                              by the loss of experience and skill at a            General Secretary declared.

8                                 SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                          news: analysis

 From best case to basket case

                 How did it all go wrong?
       he intervention of the Inter-                     Black Track Record                          However, it would appear that the

T     national Monetary Fund, the
      European Central Bank and the
EU Commission to provide Ireland
                                               Even before the present crisis, the Irish
                                               banking industry had become the focus
                                               of public concern and comment over the
                                               previous twenty-five years as a result of a
                                                                                                creation of IFSRA was primarily intended
                                                                                                as a public relations exercise rather than a
                                                                                                genuine attempt to improve regulation as
                                                                                                subsequent events have confirmed.
and its banking system with an
                                               series of major financial scandals, including:        Historically Irish governments were
unprecedented level of financial               • the collapse of the Insurance Corporation      unwilling to confront financial institutions
support. has been a source of                       of Ireland (AIB Group);                     even for the purpose of ensuring good
further distress to the many thou-             • the inquiry into the evasion of Deposit        governance and appropriate standards.
sands of bank employees who were                    Interest Relief Tax (DIRT);                      In such a lax regulatory environment,
in no way responsible for the                  • the Faldor/AIB Investment Managers             it is perhaps understandable – though
appalling catastrophe which has                     scandal;                                    not excusable – that the leaders of many

                                                                                                                                               IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
befallen the financial services sector         • the Ansbacher affair;                          financial institutions developed a rather
and the economy as a whole.                    • the All-First (Ruznak) affair;                 cavalier attitude to the conduct of their
   The reckless lending decisions              • allegations of mis-selling at National         affairs based on the assumption that if
                                                    Irish Bank;      ,                          they got into major difficulties, the State
which have pushed Ireland to the
                                               • the loans to politicians scandal; and          would step in to assist them.
brink of economic collapse were                • numerous overcharging complaints.
taken at the highest levels within                                                              Big Bonuses for Short-Term Profits
these institutions on the basis of             As each of these scandals was brought to         Running parallel with this light touch
policies pursued by senior manage-             light, the reaction from the authorities was     regulation has been the transformation of
ment and endorsed by the banks’                little more than mild censure. In some           the prevailing culture within banking from
Boards, regardless of any concerns             cases, like the ICI scandal, public funding      one focused on customer service to one

on the part of their staff.                    was even used to meet the substantial            dictated by targets driven by the demand
    Bank employees have never been             deficits created by maladministration.           at Board level for maximisation of share-
encouraged to express their views within                                                        holder value through the ruthless and re-
their institutions: to do so would generally            Cosmetic Regulation                     lentless pursuit of short-term profit-taking
be regarded as a form of insubordination       The creation of the Irish Financial Services     by senior executives who were rewarded
and could even risk disciplinary censure.      Regulatory Authority (IFSRA) in 2003             by astronomical remuneration packages –
                                                                                                even by international standards.

Within that general climate of fear within     reflected increasing public disquiet over
the workplace, IBOA the Finance Union          the lack of accountability within the Irish          This new era in banking which began
has effectively become the only vehicle        financial services sector under the previous     at the start of this decade was reflected in
through which staff concerns can be            regulatory regime operated through the           a rebalancing of remuneration at all levels
expressed.                                     Central Bank.                                                                               ⁄

                                                                                                        SPECTRUM                                   9
                                                                                                                   december 2010
                            news: analysis
                            within the industry with an increasing
                            emphasis on performance-related pay –
                            calculated on the basis of targets set by
                            senior management and approved by the
                                Although performance-related pay
                            was introduced initially for managerial
                            grades, over time it has been widely
                            applied throughout all grades within the
                            sector – although clearly the value of these
                            payments to lower-ranking staff was
                            substantially less than those on offer to
                            senior executives.
                                Although IBOA does not oppose
                            performance-related pay in principle,
                            the Union has expressed major concerns
                            about the manner of its application within
                            the Irish banking system – as it appears to
                            be designed to encourage a management
                            style which has not only had a negative
                            impact on the working environment but
                            has re-inforced a culture which is unhealthy,
                            undemocratic and ultimately detrimental
                            to the interests of the customer – and the
                            long-term interests of the institution, itself.

                                       Ticking the Boxes
                            This change in approach also affected the           Patrick Neary, the former Financial Regulator, whose light-touch regime was
                            lending policies and practices adopted by           incapable of dealing with the growing crisis in the financial services sector
                            the major financial institutions. The new           (Photo: James Horan/Photocall Ireland).
                            emphasis on measureable performance
                            targets was reflected in the excessive stan-              Reckless Competition                          This transformation in the operating
                            dardisation of many banking procedures            Many commentators have referred to the           culture was allowed to happen by the
                            – which bank staff have identified as a           impact of aggressive (and, in hindsight          existence of an extremely limited regula-
                            “box-ticking” mentality. The discretion and       reckless) competitors like Anglo Irish Bank      tory framework – based on the so-called
                            judgment of branch managers – which had           in the commercial banking area in forcing        “light touch” approach – which was
                            been central to the traditional prudential        traditionally more conservative institutions     applied without appropriate rigour or
                            approach to lending – was effectively             like AIB and Bank of Ireland into adopting       diligence.
                            devalued by this new standardised approach.       similar methodology in order to “stay in              In short IFSRA was unfit for purpose:
                                The importance of ‘local knowledge’           the game.”                                       it had neither the quantity nor the quality
                            based on long-standing relationships with              While this was undoubtedly true, it         of staff to provide effective regulation for

                            customers was no longer deemed to be              should also be acknowledged that some            the industry.
                            crucial.                                          of the foreign-owned banks operating in               It also lacked the necessary leadership
                                The significance of extenuating circum-       Ireland such as Ulster Bank/First Active         to establish a proper relationship with the
                            stances which might colour decisions to           (owned by RBS), National Irish Bank (owned       institutions it was supposed to regulate.
                            approve or disapprove certain transactions        by Danske Bank) and Halifax (Bank of Scot-
                            with customers was no longer considered
                            to be as relevant. As long as a customer’s
                            application “ticked all the boxes,” then
                                                                              land) were underwritten by their multi-
                                                                              national parents to try to offer extremely
                                                                              competitive rates in order to acquire
                                                                              market share from the “big two” –
                                                                                                                               T      he combined effect of all of these
                                                                                                                                      factors has been the dilution of
                                                                                                                                      the traditional prudential values
                                                                                                                               of the banking sector. This dilution has

                            their lending or other business proposition
                            would be approved.                                especially, but not exclusively, in the area     been a significant contributor to the
                                                                              of personal banking.                             current collapse.
                                  From Banking to Retailing                        For example, First Active was one of            But at the root is the pursuit of the
                            The new objective in the financial services       the first institutions operating in Ireland to   short-term maximisation of share-holder
                            sector has become the selling of ‘products’       offer 100% mortgages – while following           value which became the primary
                            – rather than facilitating the prudent            Danske’s acquisition of National Irish Bank,     objective across virtually every institu-

                            management of the financial affairs of            the new management team focused on               tion on this island – even to the extent
                            customers.                                        growing the lending book in a manner             that it overrode major considerations
                                This has also been reflected in a new         which, following the property crash, has         about the long-term health of the
                            trend to appoint staff to key positions in        created such serious difficulties that the       individual institution, of the sector as a
                            the industry with no previous experience in       Bank has been forced to close almost half        whole and tragically now of the entire
                            banking but who, instead, have experience         of its Branch network and make over a            economy.
                            as managers in retail sales.                      quarter of its staff redundant this year.                                                ⁄

10                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                            news: analysis
                                                                                                        Fixing the Banking System
                                                                                                   The failure to recognise that some inter-
                                                                                                   vention was necessary has resulted in
                                                                                                   the current situation where the banking
                                                                                                   system is so badly broken that it needs a
                                                                                                   fix of the most substantial proportions in
                                                                                                   order to remedy it.
                                                                                                        This should not only seek to address the
                                                                                                   capital needs of these financial institutions:
                                                                                                   it should also consider policy and practice
                                                                                                   to ensure that the regulatory framework
                                                                                                   and the cultural environment within which
                                                                                                   these institutions operate, are reformed in
                                                                                                   order to eliminate as far as possible any
                                                                                                   recurrence of this catastrophe.
                                                                                                        In the early days of the unfolding crisis,
                                                                                                   there was much comment about the need
                                                                                                   to reassert traditional values, to re-establish
                                                                                                   the connection with customers – not least
                                                                                                   because in future Irish banks would again
                                                                                                   be heavily dependent on customers – rather
                                                                                                   than international markets – for rebuilding
                                                                                                   their deposit base.
                                                                                                        However, little if any of the change
                                                                                                   anticipated in these comments has taken
                                                                                                   place so far. As in so many other respects,
                                                                                                   the leadership of the financial services
                                                                                                   sector continues to be in denial – appear-
  Central Bank Governor, Patrick Honohan, who will have a critical role in the re-
                                                                                                   ing instead to believe that, after a period
  structuring of the Irish banking system (Photo: James Horan/Photocall Ireland).
                                                                                                   of discomfort and disturbance, they will
                                                                                                   event-ually be able to return to business as
    The View from Ground Level                               IBOA Concerns                         usual.
Of course, although Irish banks were            The Union also made a presentation on
achieving unprecedented levels of profit        recent developments in Irish banking to                Changing the Culture is Key
during the height of the boom, their            the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance          Certainly the general culture within bank-
employees did not receive the exceptional       and the Public Service in 2004 which high-         ing is as oppressive as ever for staff: the
and indeed obscenely generous reward            lighted a range of concerns about:                 only difference is that, whereas before the
packages on offer to senior management.         • the new culture developing within the            crash, staff were required to engage in
     Pay movement for the vast majority of           sector characterised by short-termism         high pressure campaigns to sell financial
staff was in line with the norms laid down           and falling standards;                        products, they are now required to engage
in successive National Wage Agreements          • the inadequacy of regulation; and                in high pressure campaigns to acquire

                                                                                                                                                     IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                                                                                                                                     IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
negotiated under social partnership.            • the absence of protection for staff who          deposits as well as trying to achieve totally
     Indeed during this period, in the major         question the prevailing orthodoxy.            unrealistic sales figures.
financial institutions staff were met with      These concerns have been repeated since                They remain under extreme pressure
demands for major restructuring – involving     then in public statements, confererence            to meet targets – even though some man-
significant levels of redundancies and out-     speeches and representations to Govern-            agements are reluctant to honour agreed
sourcing – on the grounds that this would       ment – including the Union’s demand for            performance awards. At the same time,
secure viability by improving competitive-      the creation of a Forum on Banking which           dissent is not tolerated. Staff are expected
ness – when, of course, the underlying          would bring all of the sector’s stake-             to convey each new twist in the message to
purpose of these measures was to max-           holders together to develop a strategic            customers without question – despite the
imise profits in order to enhance share-        vision for the future.                             fact that previous messages to customers
holder value.                                        While the Union’s voice was heard on          about the soundness of the institution

     IBOA expressed concern at these            these occasions, no-one in authority felt          have proven to be patently untrue.
developments in a variety of public fora as     moved to action. At a time of unprecedented            Staff who are brave enough to speak
well as through statements at Conferences       (but in hindsight illusory) profitability in the   out – even in the most general terms about
and in the media.                               economy as a whole – and especially in the         the state of the industry – may find them-
     During this period, the Union made         financial services sector – IBOA seemd to be       selves subject to disciplinary action on the
submissions to the Department of Finance        regarded as a group of party-poopers.              grounds that they are somehow breaching
on a range of legislative proposals – includ-        It appears that those who could have          confidentiality.

ing the Strategic Review on Banking in 2000,    acted to address these concerns chose to               Whistleblowers highlighting specific
the Central Bank and Financial Services         believe the prevailing hype that the boom          irregularities have to be prepared to face
Authority No. 2 Bill in 2002 and the Review     would never end and accordingly con-               disciplinary action and even dismissal if
of Financial Services Legislation in 2004.      cluded that “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”                                                  ⁄

                                                                                                            SPECTRUM                                 11
                                                                                                                       december 2010
     news: analysis

     they venture to highlight their concerns to     robust regulatory authority in its efforts to        More Diverse Bank Boards
     the authorities – not an attractive prospect    ensure that promises by banking leaders         The Boards of banks should be opened up
     at the best of times but certainly not at a     are actually being implemented in practice      to a much more diverse membership as a
     time of rising unemployment within the          as well as on paper.                            further initiative to promote transparency
     economy and within the financial services           A change in the sector’s prevailing         and regulatory compliance.
     sector in this country,                         industrial relations environment could make          The inclusion of employee representa-
         Change in culture is vital. This current    a significant contribution to re-inforcing      tives along with those of other stake-holders
     period where the State occupies a pivotal       the new culture in banking.                     should be a priority to ensure that the Board
     position within the financial services sector       Attempts by some employers within           is made aware not only of the manner of
     offers a major opportunity to embed a           the sector to dilute or remove previously       implementation of the policies they adopt
     new culture – which should involve a re-        agreed staff protections should be reversed     – but also of their impact upon customers.
     turn to the traditional values of prudential    as part of a new movement towards                    At the sectoral level, IBOA’s demand for
     lending and the restoration of customer         openness and transparency.                      a Forum on Banking is an idea whose time
     service as the primary goal.                        This should be accompanied by a root-       is now long overdue. This body should
                                                     and-branch review of remuneration policies      enable all of the stake-holders across the
          Protecting Whistleblowers                  within the banking industry from top to         industry – including both domestic and
     A key symbol of this changing culture           bottom which should include:                    foreign-owned institutions – to engage in
     should be strong legislative protection for     • consideration of the various payments         robust discussions on the strategic direction
     “whistleblowers.”                                   made to Board members; and                  of the financial services sector to ensure that
         This should help to deter any repeat of     • the role of performance-related pay           it again becomes a loyal servant of economic
     the previous excesses of senior executives          systems when an intensive target-           and social development rather than its
     while at the same time assisting a more             driven culture is no longer relevant.       untrustworthy master.                        S

12         SPECTRUM
           december 2010
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                                                SPECTRUM              13
                                                      december 2010
                            culture: shift
                            T  hree months have now
                               elapsed since the closing
                            date for submissions on the
                            Central Bank’s review of the
                            Minimum Competency Re-
                            quirement (MCR) in the
                            financial services sector. Yet
                            the submissions have still to
                            be published on the Central
                            Bank website as is usually the
                            practice with consultations of
                            this kind.
                                 While the primary focus of the
                            Central Bank has no doubt been
                            elsewhere in recent months, the
                            continued uncertainty over one of
                            the key proposals in the Central
                            Bank’s consultation paper (CP45) –
                            for an end to ‘grandfathered’ status
                            – has given rise to considerable
                            anxiety among many older staff
                            who have been grandfathered and
                            have acted as accredited individuals
                            since the beginning of 2008.
                                 IBOA General Secretary, Larry
                            Broderick, has written to the Central
                            Bank to seek an early meeting to
                            clarify the status of grandfathered
                            individuals and to discuss other
                            points in the Union’s submission to
                            the Central Bank’s consultation.        The Union wants

                                 IBOA’s submission which dealt      reassurances from
                            with grandfathering in some detail      the Central Bank
                            was covered extensively in the last     that the grand-
                            issue of Spectrum.                      fathered status
                                 “We are strongly opposed to        will continue –
                            any change in the status of individ-    as well as other
                            uals who have already been grand-
                            fathered,” said Larry Broderick.
                                                                    changes to the
                                                                    MCR framework        Union seeks early talks

                                 “Grandfathering was not con-       (Photo: Photocall-
                            ceived as a temporary status to be
                            subject to further review. It arose
                            from the recognition that long-
                                                                                         with Central Bank
                            serving employees have – by virtue                           to justify a change in the status of          “Based on IBOA’s experience
                            of their extensive experience –                              grandfathered individuals. Only a        and the results of last year’s
                            equivalent or even greater expertise                         minority of accredited individuals       themed inspections undertaken by
                            than a recognised qualification and                          in regulated entities are grand-         the Central Bank, it seems clear that
                            therefore fulfill the minimum com-

                                                                                         fathered and over time these staff       some institutions may not have
                            petency requirement.                                         will either voluntarily pursue quali-    fulfilled their MCR responsibilities in
                                 “Once staff are accredited or                           fications or reach retirement age.       terms of grandfathering arrange-
                            specified accredited and meet the                            In this sense, grandfathering is not     ments.
                            required CPD standards, then no                              a permanent feature of the MCR                “Some employees have had
                            distinction should be drawn be-                              framework.                               their status rescinded and IBOA
                            tween individuals in terms of selling                             “The responsibility for deter-      believes any change in the status of

                            and giving advice to consumers.                              mining who should be grandfa-            the remaining individuals will be a
                                 “We believe that the principles                         thered based on the individual’s         green light to manage these em-
                            of natural justice should apply on                           experience lies with the financial in-   ployees out of institutions or signif-
                            this issue,” continued the IBOA                              stitutions which are also required       icantly change their terms and
                            leader.                                                      to document the criteria for assess-     conditions of employment at a
                                 “No evidence has been pre-                              ing individuals availing of the          time of major turmoil within the
                            sented and no case has been made                             grandfathering arrangements.             sector,” he added.

14                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
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                                                                                         IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                                                                         IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
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                                                                SPECTRUM                 15
                                                                         december 2010
                            culture: shift
                            Excessive executive pay –
                            a concern to Central Bank
                            Bank warns of sanctions if Irish banks and building
                            societies fail to comply with higher standards
                            E   arlier this month the Irish Central
                               Bank published the findings of a
                            review of remuneration policies and
                                                                                                                            bonuses. There is also some evidence
                                                                                                                            of tightening of severance pay, with
                                                                                                                            some banks imposing stricter con-
                            practices in a number of Irish retail                                                           ditions on golden parachutes. There
                                                                                                                            is, though, further to go;
                                 The review – which was conducted in                                                    • All banks reviewed disclose certain
                            September and October – assessed whether                                                      information on remuneration exter-
                            banks have changed how they remunerate                                                        nally, but there is little evidence of
                            employees, particularly those in senior                                                       banks moving to the fuller disclosure
                            executive positions, to reflect incoming                                                      required by incoming regulations
                            regulatory standards and the lessons of                                                       and guidance from the EU. Issues
                            the crisis.                                                                                   identified in the review are being
                                 In particular, it examined if banks have                                                 followed up individually with insti-
                            ended remuneration practices which fostered                                                   tutions.
                            inappropriate risk-taking or inadequate
                            risk management.                                                                            The Central Bank has declared its intention
                                 The main findings from the review                                                      to achieve a robust framework for ensuring
                            include:                                                                                    that banks operating in Ireland have
                            • There is little evidence that banks                                                       remuneration policies that are consistent
                                 have self-consciously made a link              Jonathan McMahon, Head of               with prudent risk-taking and will conduct
                                 between their risk appetite and their        Financial Institutions Supervision        a follow-up review in this area in 2011 to
                                 incentive structures. This exposes                  at the Central Bank                assess compliance with the new European
                                 banks and, by extension the State,                                                     and domestic regulations.
                                 to the consequences of inappropriate          to preparing for the implementation           The new legal requirements will mean

                                 risk taking;                                  of impending European requirements       that enforcement action can be taken
                                                                               and guidance on remuneration,            against those institutions which fail to
                            • The governance and oversight of                  which will become effective in Ireland   comply.
                              remuneration practices is poor. Non-             on 1 January 2011. The Central Bank           Commenting on the review, Jonathan
                              executive directors need to step-up              of Ireland expected to find that         McMahon, Head of Financial Institutions
                              their scrutiny of remuneration arrange-          banks were much more advanced in         Supervision at the Central Bank said:
                              ments, and in particular make sure               their arrangements for compliance             “We conducted this review to deter-
                              that senior executives’ remuneration             with these important requirements;       mine whether banks have ceased those
                              is aligned to a bank’s willingness                                                        remuneration practices which fostered

                              and capacity to take risk;                    • Some banks are tightening their
                                                                                                                        inappropriate risk-taking and inadequate
                                                                              approach to paying guaranteed
                            • In the majority of banks, procedures                                                      risk management in the 2000s.
                              to determine remuneration are not                                                              “While the majority of banks have
                              clear, well documented or internally          “If a bank is not                           started to reform their remuneration
                                                                                                                        policies and practices, the balance of our
                              transparent. There was little evidence
                              of consideration of risk, or collabo-
                                                                            employing the right                         findings is discouraging, with only one

                              ration with risk management func-
                              tions to ensure remuneration policies
                                                                            financial incentives,                       bank having taken an obvious lead.
                                                                                                                             “If a bank is not employing the right
                              are aligned with long term strategic          it is not managing                          financial incentives, it is not managing its
                                                                                                                        risks – it’s as simple as that. We expect
                            • The majority of banks were found to
                                                                            its risks – it’s as                         banks to have dealt with these issues when
                                                                                                                        we review their remuneration practices
                              have given little or no consideration         simple as that.”                            again in 2011.”

16                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010

                                                                  december 2010
                            safety: feature

                            Play safe -
                            work safe
                            The IBOA Safety, Health, Welfare
                            and Security (SHWS) Committee
                            aims to work with members and
                            employers to create healthier,
                            safer working environments for
                                IBOA has produced guidelines
                            on your rights under health and
                            safety legislation in the Republic
                            and Northern Ireland These can
                            be accessed on the IBOA websites
                            by following these links:
                                                                   Job stress increases risk of
                                If you have any questions or
                            concerns about health and safety
                                                                   cardiac disease for women
                            in your workplace, please contact
                                                                   W      omen with high job stress have a             high blood pressure and obesity– but not directly

                            a member of your local health                 greatly increased risk of cardiovascular     with poor cardiovascular health.
                                                                   disease compared with those in less                      Lead researcher, Natalie Slopen, observed:
                            and safety committee in the first
                                                                   demanding posts, a new study suggests.              “Women in jobs characterised by high
                            instance.                                   They have an 88% higher risk of a heart        demands and low control, as well as jobs with
                                If there is no health and safety   attack, and more chance of strokes and dam-         high demands but a high sense of control are
                            committee in your workplace,           age requiring coronary artery bypass surgery,       at higher risk for heart disease long term.”
                            please contact a member of the         according to researchers from Boston's Brigham           Study co-author, Dr. Michelle Albert, said
                            IBOA SHWS Committee below:             and Women's Hospital in the US.                     the study suggested job stress had both a

                                Elaine Barker (BOI), Carmel             The study found that overall women who         short- and long-term effect on cardiovascular
                                                                   report having high job stress have a 40%            health.
                            Curran (FTB), Margaret Power
                                                                   increased risk of cardiovascular disease, includ-        “From a public health perspective, it's
                            (BOI-GB), Etain Ryan-Lyons (AIB),      ing heart attacks and the need for procedures       crucial for employers, potential patients, as well
                            Jaynette Stirling (Ulster NI),         to open blocked arteries, compared to those         as government and hospital entities to monitor
                            Robert Thompson (NBL) and              with low job stress.                                perceived employee job strain,” she said, “and
                            Kate Varley (AIB) – together                Job stress is defined as having a de-          initiate programmes to alleviate job strain and

                            with Senior Industrial Relations       manding job that provides limited opport-           perhaps positively impact prevention of heart
                            Officer, Steve Tweed.                  unity for decision-making or to use creative        disease.”
                                                                   or individual skills.                                    The Boston project – which tracked 17,415
                                You can contact all of these by
                                                                        The study findings which were presented        healthy women for over ten years – backs up
                            e-mail at or by         to the American Heart Association recently, also    the findings of a long-term study of 12,000 female
                            phone at 00-353-(0)1-4755908 or        revealed that job insecurity was associated with    nurses in Denmark which were reported in the
                            00-44-(0)2890-200130.                  risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as    June/July 2010 issue of Spectrum.

18                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                          safety: feature
                                                                                              Almost half of
                                                                                              UK workplaces
                                                                                              have never had
                                                                                              safety inspection
                                                                                              Spending cuts will
                                                                                              add to risks – TUC
                                                                                              New figures show that 49% of workplaces
                                                                                              in the UK have never been visited by a
                                                                                              health and safety inspector.
                                                                                                   Many fear that public spending cuts
                                                                                              will make the situation worse – posing
                                                                                              further threats to employee safety.
                                                                                                   The figures have come to light in the
                                                                                              British TUC's biennial survey of safety reps
                                                                                              which revealed that only 16% of smaller
                                                                                              companies – employing less than 50 – have
                                                                                              had an inspection in the last year, and only
                                                                                              a third of large employers – with more
                                                                                              than 1,000 staff – have had a safety
                                                                                              inspection in the last twelve months.
Austerity will lead to                                                                             The TUC believes that health and
                                                                                              safety checks encourage employers to
                                                                                              bring in vital improvements, boosting the

“more working wounded”                                                                        safety at work of staff.
                                                                                                   “Knowing that an inspector is likely to
                                                                                              visit is one of the key drivers to changing

warns safety body                                                                             employers' behaviour and making the
                                                                                              workplace safer and healthier,” said TUC
                                                                                              General Secretary Brendan Barber.
                                                                                                   “Deep cuts in spending will make it

B   osses must beware of the signs
    of ‘presenteeism’ among workers
                                                  IOSH’s head of research, Dr Luise
                                             Vassie, said: “Presenteeism can become
                                                                                              easier for employers to avoid their obliga-
                                                                                              tions under the law to protect their staff

                                                                                                                                             IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                                                                                                                             IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
as austerity measures begin to bite          more common during times of economic             at work. The Health and Safety Executive
                                             struggle and job cuts. At the moment we          has just seen its government funding cut
across the public and private sectors,       are seeing a situation where some people         by 35% and that – combined with a 28%
according to a leading British-based         who may be in fear of losing their jobs are      cut in local government funding – will
organisation for workplace safety            taking on extra work – this could cause          have a very damaging effect on safety in
professionals.                               them to experience symptoms of stress            UK workplaces,” he added.
    The Institution of Occupational Safety   and when they get ill they feel as though
and Health (IOSH) says cost-cutting          they cannot take time off.
across government departments, public             “What we want to avoid,” she said, “is
bodies and suppliers could lead to more      this dangerous Catch 22 where a down-
working wounded, who turn up for work        ward spiral develops.”

even though they are ill because they are         Dr Vassie added that organisations
                                             that helped to tackle stress in the work-
worried about the implications of taking
                                             place could reap benefits, including reduced
time off sick.                               sickness absence costs.
    It points to a survey this year that          The Health and Safety Executive’s latest
found nine out of every 10 public sector     statistics reveal that 435,000 people in the
workers in Britain had been to work even

                                             UK reported suffering stress, anxiety and
though they were too ill to go.              depression attributed to work – while the
    One in three of those did so because     British TUC’s latest biennial survey of safety
they did not want to let people down or      reps identifies stress as the number one
give colleagues extra work.                  workplace health and safety concern.             TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber

                                                                                                      SPECTRUM                               19
                                                                                                                 december 2010
                            THERE IS A BETTER, FAIRER WAY

                            IBOA members in national protest against excessive austerity measures
                            IBOA made a distinctive and welcome                   The placard that received the most             Union General Secretary, Larry Broderick,

                            contribution to the recent national protest      comment from passers-by was a version          was interviewed by a French crew while
                            against austerity organised by the Irish         of The Usual Suspects film poster showing      other IBOA members were featured by a
                            Congress of Trade Unions at the end of last      five failed bank leaders under the slogan:     Spanish television unit.
                            month as part of a Europe-wide action.           Wanted: For Impersonating Bankers.                  The fears of many of the protestors
                                  Carrying IBOA pennants as well as               Other placards highlighted former Irish   about the likely composition of the austerity
                            witty and attractive placards – which are        Nationwide boss, Michael Fingleton’s extra-    measures being proposed for the Republic
                            illustrated in this issue of Spectrum on pages   ordinary personal pension pot, and the         of Ireland were borne out by subsequent

                            12, 46 and 47) – the Union contingent            ‘Convention of Lying’ – quoting state-         events – which revealed a budgetary pro-
                            was determined to demonstrate by their           ments by banking leaders which have            gramme not only of unprecedented severity
                            presence that ordinary bank officials were       since been shown to be untrue.                 but also of unacceptable unfairness.
                            not responsible for the reckless decision-            The presence of an IBOA contingent             Notwithstanding the need for a major
                            making which fuelled the current crises in       on the march attracted attention – espe-       fiscal correction, there is a better fairer way
                            the financial services sector and in the         cially from some of many foreign television    than the policy choices being exercised by
                            economy as a whole.                              crews who were covering the protest.           the Irish Government.

20                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                                        house: calls

Area meetings
discuss key issues
A   series of Area Meetings
    took place throughout
the month of November in
                                       number of meetings as well as the
                                       need for much greater protection
                                       for whistleblowers.
preparaion for the Union’s                 Concerns about the unilateral
                                       imposition of changes to pension
Biennial Delegate Conference
                                       arrangements was evident at
in Dublin in April.                    some of the meetings.
     The meetings at venues in             Other issues raised in the form
Britain as well as Northern Ireland
and the Republic debated a range
of propositions which will be put
                                       of motions from the meetings
                                       include workplace health and
                                       safety, bullying and harassment,
                                                                              Close encounters
to the Conference in the form of
     The breadth of the issues
covered in the motions reflects the
                                       Minimum Competency Require-
                                       ment, compliance with agreed
                                       overtime arrangements, adequate
                                                                              of the Santa kind
                                       time-off for Union representatives,
various facets of the current crisis                                          One man in the red who is a most welcome visitor every-
                                       and the right of manager mem-
in the financial services sector –     bers to IBOA representation.           where is Santa Claus who called into IBOA House recently
raising concerns about job security,       The area meetings also pro-        with gifts for lots of members’ children. Apart from meeting
staffing levels, the reform of         vided an important opportunity         the man of the moment, the children were entertained by
remuneration policies (including       for members to be updated on           face painters and a magician.
the removal of performance-            recent developments within the
related pay) and the need for                                                     Meanwhile at the end of November, a number of
                                       financial services sector as a whole   children of IBOA members in Northern Ireland spent a
radical change to the excessive        as well as within individual
sales culture prevalent in the                                                very exciting afternoon at Santa's Cottage in the Mourne
industry.                                                                     Mountains – where they, too, had a most enjoyable
                                           The Union’s Biennial Delegate
     The issue of staff representa-    Conference will be held at the         encounter with Santa and his helpers.
tion on the boards of financial        Croke Park conference facility in          Much credit is due to the IBOA members and staff who
institutions was raised in a           Dublin on April 15-16.                 organised these two special events.

                                                                                                                                              IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
     Members’ Diary                                                                            Committee
        2011                                                                                   Biennial Meeting
  The IBOA Members Diary has been                                                              The IBOA Pensioners’ Biennial Meeting will
                                                                                               take place on Weddesday April 6, 2011 at
  mailed to all current members with this                                                      2.30pm in IBOA House, Stephen Street
                                                                                               Upper, Dublin 8. All pensioner members

  issue of Spectrum.                                                                           are most welcome to the meeting which
      Any pensioner members who would                                                          will be followed by a reception in the Irish
                                                                                               Bankers’ Club.
  like to receive a diary should contact                                                            Nominations for the Pensioners’ Com-
                                                                                               mittee, duly proposed and seconded by
  Jane Higgins at IBOA House, Stephen                                                          other IBOA pensioner members, should be

  Street Upper, Dublin 8. E-mail: info@                                                        sent to Mr. Cecil Barron, IBOA Pensioners
                                                                                               Committee, IBOA House, Stephen Street or telephone: 00-353-1-4755908.                                                      Upper, Dublin 8 to arrive no later than
                                                                                               Friday, March 4, 2011.

                                                                                                       SPECTRUM                                  21
                                                                                                                  december 2010
                            e: union
                             If you keep
                             us informed,
                             we can keep
                             you informed
                            All members should make sure that they
                            inform IBOA House of any changes in their
                            personal and employment data – such as
                            changes in address, employment status,
                            grade, etc.
                                This is particularly important since a
                            change in employment status – such as
                            moving to part-time hours, for example –
                            could result in a reduced subscription rate.
                                Claims for a refund for any over-
                            payment of subscriptions – which might
                            arise in such cases – can only be back-
                            dated to cover a maximum of two years.
                                You can check your key membership
                            details by logging on to the Members
                            Only Section of the Union’s websites at
                            either or
                                                                            Coming soon to a computer
                            make any changes online.
                                Or if you prefer, you can contact the
                                                                                 screen near you
                            Union’s Membership Department:
                            – by letter to IBOA House, Stephen Street      Plans are advanced for the launch of a web-based news and information
                                Upper, Dublin 8;                           service for IBOA members – IBOA TV – which should appear in the New
                            – by e-mail to;                   Year.
                            –– by telephoning 00-353-1-4755908 or              Following discussions arising out of             “The news items will be interspersed
                                00-44-2890-200130.                         the Union’s internal strategic review, it has   with ads for Union services. So the whole

                                                                           been decided to develop a new service           package should be infomative at a number
                                                                           which will provide regular news, informa-       of levels. From time to time we may also
                                                                           tion and comment to members through             air extended interviews on more complex
                                                                           online video bulletins – to complement the      topics.
                                                                           Union’s existing information channels.               “And, of course, members will be able
                                                                               “Many of our members are already            to acquire further information from the
                                                                           familiar with YouTube, Vimeo and other          written items which are also available on
                                                                           internet services which allow video clips to    our websites in the form of press releases,
                                                                           play through your computer,” explained          circulars and notices,” he added.

                                                                           IBOA’s Communications Manager, Séamas                Access to this new service will be
                                                                           Sheils.                                         through the Union’s two websites –
                                                                               “Over the last year, the Union has and While
                                                   BELFAST                 posted one-off video clips on various           most of the news bulletins are likely to be
                                                                           topics on the IBOA website. After these         available for everyone to view, some of
                            Virtually half-price tickets                   experimental offerings, we have now             the broadcasts may be located within

                                                                           decided to provide regular news updates         the Members Only section of the sites,
                               Adult ticket: £3                            online.
                                                                               “The basic style of these video presen-
                                                                                                                           depending on their content.
                                                                                                                                The key to accessing the Members
                                                                           tations will be a short news programme –        Only section of the sites is the individual
                               To purchase your tickets                    covering a number of stories. This should       IBOA membership number – which is
                             contact IBOA @ 02890-200130                   provide members with a quick summary            listed on the address cover sheet accom-
                                                                           of the major events involving the Union.        panying every issue of Spectrum.

22                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                                      youth: news

ICTU Youth campaigns
on many fronts in                                   Members of ICTU Youth take part in the recent Gay Pride march in Belfast.
Northern Ireland
                                                have on day to day services and to dispel       sectors, the Youth Committee, in conjunction

T   he Youth Committee of the Northern
    Ireland Committee of the Irish
Congress of Trade Unions (NIC-ICTU) is
                                                the myth that there is no alternative.
                                                     In support of IBOA members, campaign
                                                literature has been widely distributed and
                                                                                                with IBOA’s own Youth Committee and
                                                                                                similar bodies in other unions, will need to
                                                                                                step up to the challenge in the coming
made up of young members from a                 public meetings held to combat the              year to ensure that all workers are pro-
wide range of unions in both the public         negative image that has been created in         tected as far as possible.
and private sectors – including NIPSA,          the media of bankers – the vast majority of
UCATT, PCS, UNISON, FBU, ATL, NUJ,              whom bear no responsibility for the crisis.                 Planning for 2011
CWU, UNITE as well as IBOA whose                                                                For 2011 we will be working very closely
nominee, Kieran McCann, is now in his                    Defending Bank Officials               with ICTU with its campaign to secure
second term as Chair of the Committee.          This literature has stressed that pensions      jobs, protect terms and conditions and
     The diversity of the group enables it to   and terms and conditions of finance workers     lobby for a better, fairer way to deal with
focus on issues that impact young people        are under attack with widespread and            the current crisis.
across all areas of society in Northern         increasing job losses in the sector. And            We have already began setting up a
Ireland and develop strategies to address       while there have been redundancies and          music event to raise awareness of the cam-
those issues.                                   cuts for ordinary bankers there remain          paign with great support from local artists.
     The group conducted research that          obscene salaries at the top.                        Several training courses have been

                                                                                                                                               IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                                                                                                                               IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
clearly showed that many young workers,             Northern Ireland is still waiting for the   organised and “round table” discussions
including a significant number of migrant       Finance Minister to announce the out-           have been scheduled with community
workers, were not aware of their basic          come of his spending review. As this will       groups, church groups, LGBT organisations
legal employment rights. In response to         undoubtedly have serious implications           and many other youth organisations to
this a “Young Workers’ Rights Cards” was        for workers in both the public and private      develop an all-inclusive campaign to
produced and widely distributed.                                                                defend working people in Northern Ireland.
     The card also proved useful in assisting                                                       In 2010 we produced a magazine
unions in organising campaigns in non-                                                          which explored many areas of concern for
union workplaces. It is now being used                                                          young people. In early 2011 we will be
by the ICTU’s Migrant Workers Unit and                                                          creating another publication which will
has been translated into a number of                                                            be sent to all affiliated trade unions for

languages.                                                                                      distribution.
     A key part of the Youth Committee’s                                                            For more information on the NIC-ICTU
strategy is to try work with and support in-                                                    Youth Committee or to receive some of its
dividual union campaigns. In the context                                                        written materials, including the magazine,
of the current crisis, NIC-ICTU Youth has                                                       contact Chairperson, Kieran McCann, on
been to the fore in supporting the Con-                                                         0751-5417024 or Secretary, Kerry Fleck, on
gress “Better Fairer Way” campaign.                                                             0787-2815968, c/o ICTU Youth Committee,

     In co-operation with local Trades                                                          45/47 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2FG.
Councils, information stands have been                                                          Email: or visit
held throughout Northern to highlight to                                               or follow ictuyouth
the wider public the impact that cuts will                   Kieran McCann                      on Facebook.

                                                                                                        SPECTRUM                               23
                                                                                                                   december 2010
                            sports: social
                                                                                                                        Fresh from the final bumper
                                                                                                                        draw for 2010 on Friday
                                                                                                                        December 17, in the Irish
                                                                                                                        Bankers Club in IBOA House,
                                                                                                                        Dublin, entries for the new
                                                                                                                        draw are still being taken.
                                                                                                                            Members can join the
                                                                                                                        draw for the remaining nine
                                                                                                                        months for the specially
                                                                                                                        reduced price of ¤40.00 or
                                                                                                                        £36.00. (Application forms
                                                                                                                        are included with this issue
                                                                                                                        of Spectrum.)
                                                                                                                            Members can pay in full
                                                                                                                        immediately by a single
                                                                                                                        cheque or bank draft or, if
                                                                                                                        preferred, by three post- dated
                                                                                                                        cheques of ¤15.00/£15.00,
                                                                                                                        ¤15.00/£15.00 and ¤10.00/
                                                                                                                        £6.00 dated 25/01/11,
                                                                                                                        25/02//11 and 25/03/11 re-

                            Bewitching: Sinéad and Dominic Boyd (Bank of Ireland) at the recent Halloween Fancy Dress
                            Table Quiz in the Belfast Bankers’ Club in aid of the Marie Curie Foundation.

                                                             Isn’t it time you                                           Online DVD
                            Belfast                          joined the club?

                                                                                                                             No more late fees!
                                                             openInG HoUrS:                                                  No more contracts!
                            Bankers’                         The Club opens at 5:30pm from Monday-Friday.                          No catch!
                                                                                                                           A special price of ¤12.99

                                                             AVAILABLe For pArTIeS:                                          (usual price ¤15.99)
                                                             Available for parties on request (any day). There
                                                             is no charge for parties and room booking.                          is available to
                               31 Malone Road                    Please phone 02890-382866 any time after                     all IBOA members.
                               Belfast Bt9 6Ru               5.30pm or e-mail:             Check IBOA websites for details.

24                               SPECTRUM
                                 december 2010
THe IrISH BankerS’ CluB                                                                Bar openInG HourS:
                                                                                       Tuesday-Saturday – 4.30pm till late.
IBOA HOuse, stepHen street upper, DuBlIn 8                                             Sunday-Monday – closed.

                                                       Still Selling:
                              THE 25th BANKERS’ CLUB DRAW 

                         agni icent Holiday Destinations   umerous Cas rizes
                          Special Prizes for Members and Non-Dublin Entrants
                          Attendance Prizes in Dublin and Belfast Each Month
               Still ONly E45 Or £40 fOr tEN GrEAt DrAw NiGHtS!

        DON’T MISS OUT:                                                                                   CLUB
                                               UPCOMINg CLUB
      Return you entry today                                                                            MEMBERSHIP
                                                DRAW NIgHTS
   Pay by three cheques dated:
 25/01/11, 25/02/11 and 25/03/11
                                                  Friday December 17:                  New members welcome. Join now and enjoy
Join us and celebrate 25 great years     1st Prize – One week’s skiing holiday         free membership until September 2011 – cost
     of our fabulous Club draws               for two in St. Anton, Austria            then only ¤20 per annum.
                                                      2nd Prize: E500,                 Facilities include:
  Entry forms with this magazine!                   3rd, 4th & 5th Prizes:             • Special room hire rates
                                              Christmas hampers worth E200,            • Bar and meeting room facilities.
                                                      6th & 7th Prizes:                • Catering and DJ facilities available
                                           Turkey, Ham, Bottle of Brandy or value
                                                                                       • Big screen for all sporting occasions
                                        8th, 9th & 10th Prizes: Turkey, Ham or value
                                                   Friday January 28:                  Don’t miss out – Join today!
                                         1st Prize – Two weeks holiday for two         Copy and complete the application form below
                                                        to Florida                     and return it to Honorary Secretary, Michael
                                                   Friday February 25:                 Martin at the address above.
                                         1st Prize – Two weeks holiday for two
                                                        to Florida
                                            Draws at 9pm. Bar Food each night                          APPLICATION
                                                  plus Attendance Prizes                               TO JOIN CLUB

                                                THE PLACE TO
                                                PARTY IN 2011                          Male/Female (delete where applicable)

                                                                                                                                                                    IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                                                                                                                                                    IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                       • Reduced Room Hire Rates                       Branch/Dept:.......................................................
                                       • Birthday Parties                              Bank Account Details
                                       • Going Away Nights
                                                                                       Bank & Branch:.................................................
                                       • Table Quizzes, Race Nights
                                       • Parties and Christenings                      NSC:....................A/c No.................................
                                       • Catering and DJ Facilities Available           hereby authorise you to debit my account with the annual
                                       • We can cater for numbers up to 120            subscription for Club membership. I agree to be bound by
                                                                                        he Rules of the Club and accept the appropriate annual
                                       • Full Bar Licence – Extension Available

                                                                                       adjustment when applicable. Notification will be forwarded
                                       • Why not book or call in and look around?      n writing if I wish to cancel this mandate.

                                       Call 01-4758970 10am-12noon or after 5pm.       Signed:.................................Date:.............................
                                                                                       Please return to Michael Martin, Honorary Secretary
                                          THE PERFECT PARTY VENUE                      at the address above.

                     Results of recent Bankers Club draws are posted on the IBOA websites:

                                                                                                           SPECTRUM                                                 25
                                                                                                                            december 2010
                            sports: social

                            Happy families at Belfast Zoo
                            IBOA’s annual family day at Belfast Zoo proved to be a big hit with members and their families. Apart from free admission for
                            the day, the Union provided an assortment of refreshments which hit the spot for the young and the not-so-young (Photos:
                            Robert Thompson).

26                               SPECTRUM
                                 december 2010
                                                                              sports: social
                                                                                            Full houses for
The Magic of

                                                                                            Snow White in
                                                                                            Belfast and Cork
                                                                                            The specially priced tickets for IBOA
                                                                                            members have all sold out for Snow
                                                                                            White and the Seven Dwarfs at the
                                                                                            Grand Opera House in Belfast in Decem-
This year’s Gaiety pantomime is the story                                                   ber 27 at 2.30pm.
of Aladdin which will be brought magically                                                      The show which features May
to life in a spectacular production                                                         McFettridge and Lesley Joseph (below)
                                                                                            runs u
starring Mikey Graham from Boyzone
                                                                                                Me                        rk where
in the role of Abanazar and the voice of                                                    Snow W                        he Seven
Louis Walsh as the Master of the World.                                                     Dwarfs                         featured
    Along with amazing visual effects,                                                      pantom                       ork Opera
a genie with attitude, a magic flying                                                       House,                      ally priced
carpet and a mesmerising cave of jewels,                                                    tickets                       mbers of
                                                                                            IBOA –                       fer for the
Aladdin will be an unmissable panto-                                                        perfor                        ce      on
mime experience.                                                                            Janua                        8 – have
IBOA is offering tickets for two special performances of Aladdin at ¤10 below the           also sol                      out.
normal asking price on Monday December 27. The Union has a limited number of
tickets for both the afternoon matinee and for the evening performance.
• All tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis – as processed by IBOA
   staff – to applicants quoting their IBOA membership number.
• Only franked postal appplications will be accepted – which must be accompanied
   by a cheque or moeny order.
• Ticket applications should cover your immediate family needs – up to a maximum
   of 10 tickets.
• Dublin-based members are urged to opt for the evening performance in order to
   facilitate attendance by members form outside Dublin at the afternoon matinee.
• Seats will be allocated proportionally to pensioner members.
      Remember no IBOA membershp number means no tickets.
                                         Normal Price         IBOA Price

                                                                                                                                               IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
          Dress Circle & Boxes           ¤34.00               ¤24.00
          Parterre                       ¤33.00               ¤23.00

Special price
available for IBOA                             All applications must be returned to:
members for shows                                               Sports & Social Dept
                                                             IBOA The Finance Union
on Monday,
December 27                                                              IBOA House
                                                                                                   Special Offer for
at 2.30pm                                                                                           IBOA members

                                                                   Stephen St Upper
& 7.30pm                                                                    Dublin 8                          For individuals:
                                                                                                    Save ¤3 off full admission price
                                                                                                  For families: Supersaver deal of ¤20
                                                                                                   for family of 4 (normal price ¤35)
                                                                                                 Offers may not be used in conjunction
                                                                                                   with any other offer or promotion.

For more information
see the Union websites:                                                                       National Sea Life Centre, Bray Seafront, Bray, or                                                                                   Co. Wicklow. Tel. 00-353-1-2866939                                                                                    

                                                                                                     SPECTRUM                                  27
                                                                                                                 december 2010
                                                                                      workplace: news
                            IBOA refers
                            NIB pension
                            to Labour
                            T   he Labour Court is to hear an IBOA
                                claim that National Irish Bank
                            breached agreed procedures in trans-
                            ferring staff from the Defined Benefit
                                                                            The Union's negotiating team was          from the normal practice of collective
                            pension scheme to a hybrid pension
                                                                        confident that changes could be made to       bargaining with the Union – even though
                            scheme without full consultation and        the DB scheme which could address the         the process has been utilised in recent
                            agreement with the Union.                   deficit in the fund – without the need to     years to address a number of major issues
                                The Bank’s senior management with-      close it down completely. Even though         in the Bank – including an extensive
                            drew from a previously agreed mediation     IBOA members in NIB were almost unani-        restructuring programme.
                            process under the auspices of Kevin Foley   mous in their preference for a negotiated         The Union has sought high-level meet-
                            of the Labour Relations Commission before   outcome to the issue, the Bank decided to     ings with management in Ireland and in
                            he had the opportunity to consider the      impose its own settlement.                    Denmark to secure commitments about
                            arguments from the pensions experts on          IBOA is concerned that on this occasion   the future conduct of industrial relations
                            both sides.                                 the senior management in NIB departed         in the Bank.

                                                              Christmas Eve
                                                              at the Belfast

                                                              Bankers’ Club
                                                              1) Christmas Eve on 17th December
                                                              starts at 7.00 pm. Come for the disco,
                                                              fun and more fun!

                                                                                                                      National Irish Bank CEO, Andrew Healy
                                                              2) 'The Other Christmas Eve' on 24th
                                                              December starts at 1.00pm for the                       CEOs to meet IBOA
                                                              celebration of Christmas then home                      National Irish Bank Chief Executive,

                                                              early to recover for Christmas Day.                     Andrew Healy, has responded positively to
                                                                                                                      a request from IBOA for a high-level meet-
                                                                                                                      ing to review relationships between the
                                                                                                                      Union and the Bank.

                               So good we celebrate it twice!                                                             His counterpart in Northern Bank,
                                                                                                                      Gerry Mallon, has also agreed to meet
                                                                                                                      IBOA representatives earliy in 2011.

28                               SPECTRUM
                                 december 2010
                                                            workplace: news
Union secures full                                                                         New health
                                                                                           and safety
payment of recent                                                                          policy agreed
promotion increases                                                                        in Ulster Bank
                                                                                           N  egotiations on a new health
                                                                                              and safety policy have just
A   fter repeated representations
    by IBOA, Ulster Bank has now
recognised that since the start of
                                                                                           been completed in Ulster Bank.
                                                                                               IBOA Senior Industrial Relations Officer,
                                                                                           Steve Tweed, who also happens to be
2009, at least, it has not applied the                                                     IBOA’s health and safety specialist, said
correct salary level to a number of                                                        that the new policy was a welcome
employees who were successful in                                                           advance.
gaining promotion.                                                                             “While there are aspects of the new
     The Bank is now reviewing all recent                                                  protocols between the Bank and IBOA
promotions and will apply the correct level                                                where further progress should be possible,
of salary retrospectively.                                                                 it would be churlish not to recognise that
  IBOA has asked any members who have                                                      the new agreement represents a positive
still not received the payments due to                                                     step forward.
them on promotion to contact the Union.                                                        “Our aim now is to secure the full
     All outstanding cases notified to the                                                 implementation of these new provisions
Union will then be communicated directly                                                   while reserving the right to seek further
to the Bank.                                                                               improvements in the future.”
                                                                                               “In particular, we are keen to ensure
Good news                                                                                  that the broader culture operating within
                                               IBOA Ulster Bank Officer, John Burns        the Bank is reviewed and reformed, where
    “This is good news for all members
of staff who have suffered a shortfall in         “It is the result of a consistent cam-   necessary, to minimise any adverse health
their promotional pay,” said IBOA’s Senior    paign by IBOA to ensure the matter was       issues arising from workplace stress,”
Industrial Relations Officer, Steve Tweed.    addressed in a proper manner by the Bank.”   added Steve Tweed.

Union refers
MCR issue to                                                   SPECSAPPEAL
                                                                                                                                           IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
Labour Court                                                   FOR IBOA MEMBERS
IBOA has referred two MCR-related issues
in Ulster Bank to the Labour Court in the
    The Union is contesting the inclusion
of Team Leaders as being in-scope for MCR.
IBOA believes this role should be out of

scope and that staff should be allowed to
                                                                ¤30 off glasses from the ¤149 range or above
voluntarily ‘opt-in’ to the process.
    The Union is also contesting the Bank’s                     in the Irish Republic
view that in-scope members of staff who
are not qualified can be moved to a lower                       £20 off glasses from the £99 range or above in
graded role with a subsequent loss in                           Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    IBOA believes members of staff who,                         To receive your SpecSavers discount voucher,
for genuine reasons, cannot obtain the
necessary qualification should not suffer                       call 0(0-353-)1-4755908 or 0(0-44-)2890-200130.
any financial detriment.

                                                                                                   SPECTRUM                                29
                                                                                                              december 2010
                            workplace: news
                                                                                          BOI announces job
                                                                                          cuts in Northern
                                                                                          Ireland and Britain
                                                                                          The first tranche of job losses                The Bank has re-affirmed that
                                                                                          under the EU Restructuring Plan           the terms of the Connaughton
                                                                                          has been confirmed by Bank of             Agreement negotiated by IBOA
                                                                                          Ireland.                                  will be implemented to ensure that
                                                                                               Of the 750 redundancies orig-        IBOA members will only exit the
                                                                                          inally agreed as part of the plan, up     Bank on a purely voluntary basis
                                                                                          to 240 are to take place in Belfast,      and on severance terms previously
                                                                                          with around 30 more jobs to be            agreed between the Union and
                                                                                          shed between Bristol and London.          the Bank.
                                                                                               IBOA General Secretary, Larry             In Northern Ireland these pro-
                                                                                          Broderick, described the job cuts as      vide for 6 weeks’ pay per year of
                                                                                          “profoundly disappointing” but            service plus statutory entitlements,
                                                                                          not unexpected in view of the prior       subject to a cap of 2.5 years;
                                                                                          agreement with the EU.                    and in Great Britain it amounts to
                                                                                               “While we are gratified that         6 weeks’ pay per year of service
                                                                                          the Bank has committed to engage          inclusive of statutory entitlements.
                                                                                          fully with IBOA on the implement-              In the ongoing negotiations
                                                                                          ation of the Restructuring Plan,          on the implementation of the pro-
                            Bank of Ireland Chief Executive, Richie Boucher (Photo:       we are nevertheless disappointed          posed job cuts, IBOA aims to
                            Eamonn Farrell, Photocall Ireland)                            that such measures should be              ensure that the Bank honours the
                                                                                          necessary.                                the terms of the Connaughton

                            Bank of Ireland                                                    “The impact of these redun-
                                                                                          dancies will be felt not only by the
                                                                                          families of those staff members
                                                                                                                                         As part of this process, the
                                                                                                                                    Union has sought a list of rede-
                                                                                          who opt to leave, but also by             ployment opportunities within

                            seeks to raise                                                the wider economy of Northern
                                                                                          Ireland which can ill afford to lose
                                                                                          up to 240 jobs at this time."
                                                                                                                                    the Bank to ensure that realistic
                                                                                                                                    options are available for staff who
                                                                                                                                    do not wish to leave.

                            more capital
                                                                                           Driving l essons

                            Senior management in Bank of Ireland aims to raise
                            capital independently in order to meet the higher 12%

                                                                                            Special rates for IBOA members
                            Tier 1 ratio being demanded now by the Central Bank
                            as part of the financial aid package from the IMF, EU
                            and ECB.
                                 IBOA has been advised        “At this point, the          Pinnacle Driving School is a national or www.
                            that if the Bank can secure   original provision for 750

                                                                                           driving school with instructors in
                            this additional capital with- redundancies – which was         Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Lime-          This offer is also extended
                            out recourse to the public    contained in the Restruc-         ir and Bray.
                                                                                             ck                                     to IBOA members buying Gift
                            funding on offer to the       turing Plan – remains in              All instructors are ADI qualified   Vouchers for a third party.
                            banking sector under the      place,” said IBOA Senior         and our pass rates are at least               Unlike other vouchers, Pinnacle’s
                            aid package, then there       Industrial Relations Officer,    15% above the average in all test        do not have an expiry date. So
                            should be no necessity to     Gerry Hanna.                     centres.                                 they can be redeemed at any time

                            renegotiate the Restructur-       “The Union’s engage-              IBOA members can avail of the       in the future.
                            ing Plan already agreed       ment with senior manage-         special offer price of only ¤30 per
                            with the EU Commission in     ment in Bank of Ireland on       lesson – rather than the normal
                            July as the price for the     the implementation of the        price of ¤35).
                            public funds which the        EU Restructuring Plan is              For further information on how
                            Bank has already received     proceeding on that basis,”       to claim this special price, check
                            from the Irish State.         he said.

30                               SPECTRUM
                                 december 2010
                                                          workplace: news
Mediated talks follow 24-hour
strike at HP CDS
Following the first of two
scheduled twenty-four hour work
stoppages by IBOA members at HP
Customer Delivery Services (CDS,
an initiative by the Department of
Enterprise, Trade and Innovation in
the Republic resulted in the appoint-
ment of an agreed mediator to try
to resolve a number of issues in
    While the mediator is directly
involved in the case of those
members of the HP CDS staff
already covered by a collective
agreement by virtue of transferring
from another employment (Red-
stone), a parallel process has been
established for other staff who are
progressing their issues through a
newly created internal procedure.
    If this internal procedure fails to
bring about a satisfactory resolution
for these staff, then the mediator        On the picket       “It is unfortuate that our mem-
will be called into action in this        line: IBOA      bers were left with no other option
case, too.
    As talks between the parties
                                          at HP CDS
                                                          but industrial action in order to
                                                          achieve meaningful dialogue with
                                          demonstrate     management. However, now that
continue, Union organiser, Gareth
Murphy, reports steady progress on        at the campus   real engagement is under way, we
a number of issues of concern to          of parent       are finally beginning to make pro-
our members.                              company, HP .   gress to our mutual benefit.”           10% discount

                                                                                                                               IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                                                                                IBOA members
                                             10% off all products
                                                                                                 on all products
                                             purchased in the
                                                                                                (excluding medicines
                                             Republic of                                         and prescriptions)
                                             Ireland or
                                                                                                from Hickey's Pharmacies
                                             Northern Ireland                                   in Arklow, Cork, Drogheda,

                                                                                                Dublin (O'Connell Street,
                                             on presentation
                                                                                                Henry Sreet, Grafton Street,
                                             of your IBOA                                       Harold's Cross, Crumlin,
                                                                                                Terenure, Tallaght, Coolock,
                                             membership                                         Phibsboro, Santry, Finglas,

                                             card in store.                                     Ongar and Tyrrelstown),
                                                                                                Dundalk, Gorey, Maynooth,
                                                                                                Navan and Newbridge.

                                                                                                SPECTRUM                       31
                                                                                                        december 2010
                            workplace: news
                            IBOA seeks greater clarity over
                            AIB’s future in wake of aid deal
                            I BOA has sought a high-level meet-
                              ing with the new Executive Chair-
                            man of AIB Group, David Hodgkinson,
                            to discuss the implications for staff
                            of the conditions attaching to the
                            financial aid package for the Irish
                            Republic provided by the International
                            Monetary Fund, the European Central
                            Bank and the EU Commission.
                                IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick,
                            has also sought clarification from the
                            Governor of the Central Bank, the Head of
                            Financial Regulation and the Department
                            of Finance.
                                “While some restructuring of AIB
                            Group was already on the cards as the
                            price for State funding, it is not clear if the
                            higher Tier 1 capital ratios now being sought
                            from the key guaranteed institutions –
                            which is likely to result in the virtual
                            nationalisation of AIB – is also likely to
                            result in a more extensive restructuring of
                            the Bank than would otherwise have been
                                “Mr. Hodgkinson’s recent e-mail to             AIB Executive Chair, David Hodgkinson (Photo: Sasko Lazarov Photocall-Ireland)
                            staff to the effect that AIB will be a smaller
                            operation in future is in line with earlier           “In particular, we need clarity about    meaningful bids – and that further analysis
                            comments by the previous leadership of            the future of AIB UK,” said Mr. Broderick.   of all of the options for its future would
                            the Bank. But what form this downsizing           “At the Bank’s recent EGM, the Executive     follow.
                            takes – and particularly what impact it will      Chairman said that the Division was being         “However, some commentators have
                                                                              withdrawn from sale in the absence of any    suggested that, following the IMF/ EU/ECB
                            have on staff – remains unclear.

                                                                                                                           intervention, the sell-off of AIB UK is now

                                                                                                                           back on the agenda – while others have
                                                                                                                           argued that the new certainty arising in
                                                                                                                           the wake of the financial aid package
                                                                                                                           should ease the pressure on AIB to take

                                      special offers
                                                                                                                           hasty decisions on rapid asset disposals
                                                                                                                           and allow for a more considered approach
                                                                                                                           to be taken to the Bank’s medium- to
                                                                                                                           long-term future.

                                                                                                                                “At the same time, staff are also con-
                                                                                                                           cerned about media speculation over the
                                                                                                                           future ownership of AIB Group – following
                                                                                                                           the declaration by the Governor of the

                                                    for IBOA members only!
                                                                                                                           Central Bank that, as the Irish State is
                                                                                                                           about to become either the sole or majority

                                                                                                                           shareholder in virtually every domestic bank,
                                                                                                                           the Government is open to offers for them.
                                For information on the latest offers for IBOA members,                                          “Although the situation is still fluid,”
                                                                                                                           said the General Secretary, “our members
                                 log on to:                                         in AIB are entitled to clarity – at the earliest
                                                                                                                           opportunity – about the long-term pro-
                                  or                                            spects for the Bank and for their jobs.”

32                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                 workplace: news
Bonus row causes                                                                                Talks continue
                                                                                                with AIB
distress for AIB staff                                                                           Although the future ownership status of
                                                                                                AIB Group – or elements of it – may be in
                                                                                                doubt following recent developments,
I BOA members in AIB have been
  extremely disappointed at the inaccu-
rate media coverage and commentary
                                                 given rise to a pay structure which has
                                                 placed increasing emphasis on perform-
                                                 ance-related pay compared to basic pay.
                                                                                                IBOA has continued to negotiate with the
                                                                                                Bank’s senior management teams in the
                                                                                                Republic and the UK on a wide range of
on the decision of AIB Group to pay                  “These policies were introduced by the
                                                                                                issues including job security, pension, pay,
bonuses earned in 2008 to senior execu-          Bank's senior management – against the
                                                                                                managers' recognition, repatriation rights
tives and certain specialist staff in its        wishes of IBOA – on the basis of encour-
                                                                                                and culture.
Capital Markets Division following a             aging staff to meet short-term targets
                                                                                                     In the United Kingdom, discussions
legal action by a number of these staff              “The excessive pursuit of narrowly
to enforce the terms of their contracts.         focused targets by AIB and other institu-      have commenced on these issues under
     “An impression was created in the           tions in order to maximise share-holder        the chairmanship of independent mediator,
minds of many members of the general             value in the short-term – while inevitably     Liam Deane – while in the Republic of
public that ordinary bank officials in AIB       undermining the long-term stability of the     Ireland, Senior Counsel Mark Connaughton
were sharing in a massive bonus bonanza          bank – lies at the heart of the current        has been agreed as an independent
- and once again Branch staff throughout         financial crisis which has done so much        mediator to assist both sides in putting
Ireland are bearing the brunt of further un-     damage to the Irish economy.                   in place an Enabling Agreement to deal
justified abuse and demeaning comments               "For our part, IBOA is keen – not only     with these issues.
from various quarters.” said IBOA General        to ensure the protection of as many jobs            IBOA’s AIB Group Officer, Claire Walsh,
Secretary, Larry Broderick.                      as possible within AIB and the industry        told Spectrum that an agreement was
     “The vast majority of staff in AIB have     generally – but also to encourage a new        essential to provide a structured frame-
not benefitted from any such payments.           approach to remuneration throughout the        work to enable the challenges facing staff
Indeed, our members in AIB are now               sector – which would eliminate the bonus       to be addressed effectively.
suffering the consequences of the dis-           culture by providing a reasonable level of          “In an extremely uncertain environ-
torted remuneration policies introduced in       basic pay for our members,” the IBOA           ment, our members in AIB deserve as much
AIB over the last decade or so – which have      leader declared.                               re-assurance as possible about the future,”
                                                                                                she said.
                                                                                                     “An Enabling Agreement of the kind
    The Figures Some of the Press Misinterpreted                                                sought by IBOA will provide us with some
                                                                                                comfort in these very difficult times.”
    Extract from the Minister for Finance’s Statement to the Dáil on December 1

                                                                                                  Small Ads
 Bonuses (Booked in the Financial Accounts)
                               2009 Total                                  2010 Total

                                                                                                  Big Choice
 Grade             No. of Staff            ¤m                  No. of Staff            ¤m

                                                                                                                                               IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
 Executives                 62          11.11                            2            0.71
 Managers                  674          30.06                           41            3.06
 Junior Management         700            9.20
 Other Staff
 ¤56.3m of the total bonuses of ¤58.7m paid in 2009 and 2010 related to performance-              Apartments
 related bonuses to staff in AIB Capital Markets. These bonuses were awarded for
 individual and business performance in prior years but deferred and paid in the 2009
                                                                                                  to Rent
 and 2010.
     The awards made in 2009 to staff in AIB Capital Markets in respect of 2008 were              Adverts placed for

 deferred and subsequently paid following threatened or initiated legal action:
     ¤17.1m was paid in 2009 to overseas staff on foot of legal action;
                                                                                                  IBOA members by
     ¤35.5m was paid in 2010 following legal action and a High Court judgement                    IBOA members
 against the Bank.
     A further ¤3.7m was paid to staff in AIB Capital Markets in 2010 in respect of                Check out the IBOA websites:
 deferred bonuses relating to 2006 and 2007 and were in accordance with the              
 individuals’ contractual terms.
                                                                                                   smallads.html or

     The balance of ¤2.4m was paid to junior management and clerical staff in AIB’s
 customer contact centres in Ireland, to staff in AIB’s offices in Jersey and the Isle of Man
 and also included payments in respect of a small number of pre-existing contractual               smallads.html

                                                                                                        SPECTRUM                               33
                                                                                                                   december 2010
                            workplace: news
                            Talks continue over transfer
                            of BOI IT contract to IBM
                            Multi-lateral talks are continuing
                            between IBOA and a number of
                            employers in the wake of the Bank
                            of Ireland’s decision to award its
                            major IT contract to IBM.
                                 A number of staff in various
                            companies currently work on the
                            contract – primarily HP where
                            approximately 200 staff are
                            involved – but also some staff in
                            HP’s subsidiary, HP CDS, along with
                            IT staff in Bank of Ireland Asset
                            Management, Bank of Ireland
                            Global Markets and Bank of Ireland
                            Securities Services.
                                 Staff in the three Bank of Ireland
                            subsidiaries have balloted to accept
                            the outcome of the transfer
                            negotiations between IBOA, IBM            The IBM Campus
                            and Bank of Ireland – which were          at Damastown,             Similar negotiations in HP CDS      working conditions and other
                            facilitated by independent mediator,      Co. Dublin. (Photo:   have been complicated by the pro-       contractual entitlements.
                            Mark Connaughton, SC.                     Gareth Chaney/        posal to transfer some of the staff         In the meantime, members in
                                 However, negotiations over the       Photocall Ireland!)   working on the Bank of Ireland          HP and HP CDS have been advised
                            terms of transfer for staff in HP                               contract to another company,            by the Union to withhold co-
                            have yet to conclude. The parties                               Manpower – rather than to IBM           operation from any arrangements
                            have now decided to refer all out-                              directly.                               relating to the transfer of work
                            standing issues for independent                                     Members are rightfully con-         until such time as all issues have
                            mediation in an effort to achieve a                             cerned about the implication of         been satisfactorily addressed in
                            resolution.                                                     such an arrangement for their           each case.

                                                                                            Hyho Travel provides a                Travel will donate between
                                                                                            range of special deals for            10% and 20% of its agency
                                                                                            IBOA members.                         commission to a charity,

                                                                                                Check the IBOA web-               school, club or community
                                                                                            site for details of the latests       organisation of your choice
                                                                                            offers on holidays for desti-         at no extra cost.
                                                                                            nations worldwide, as well                Check the latest offers
                                                                                            as specialised golf trips and         through www. or
                                                                                            sports packages.            

                                                                                                For every booking made                You’ll need your IBOA
                                                                                            on the Hyho site or via our           membership number to
                                                                                            dedicated call centre, Hyho           log on!

34                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                             workplace: news
                                     INBS set to merge with
                                     Anglo and wind down?
In a move that appears to mark the start of        It appears that Irish Nationwide’s E4bn   IBOA members reject management
the wind-down of both Irish Nationwide        in deposits are to be transferred to other     proposal to address pay
Buidling Society and Anglo-Irish Bank, the    institutions – possibly AIB and Bank of
                                                                                             Meanwhile a proposal by Irish Nationwide
Governor of the Republic’s Central Bank,      Ireland – along with Anglo’s deposits
                                                                                             to address a claim by staff for the payment
Patrick Honohan, confirmed recently that      totalling between E12bn and E15bn.
                                                                                             of awards due in December 2009 and
Irish Nationwide and Anglo Irish Bank have         The financial press has also suggested    December 2010 as well as pay for 2010
been asked to submit a revised restructur-    that two companies may be interested in        has been overwhelmingly rejected in a
ing plan to the EU Commission – but this      acquiring Irish Nationwide’s savings arm.      ballot of the Union’s members.
time on a joint basis.                             However, the implications of all of           “The proposal – which offered extra
     At the same time Dr. Honohan also        these possible developments for IBOA’s         annual leave days rather than additional
announced that the Anglo-Irish brand          members in INBS, as well as for Anglo’s        remuneration – was unsatisfactory,” said
would cease to be used early in the New       employees, have yet to be clarified.           General Secretary, Larry Broderick. “Given
Year – and that the heavily indebted bank          The Union has sought an urgent            the growing uncertainty around Irish Nation-
would then be wound down as quickly as        meeting with Irish Nationwide’s senior         wide’s future, it is understandable that our
possible. However, he conceded that this      management to discuss the emerging             members would find additional leave days
would happen over “a multi-year” period.      situation.                                     rather less attractive than hard cash.”

                                                                                                                                            IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION

                                                                                                     SPECTRUM                               35
                                                                                                                december 2010
                            life: style
                            No gift is more precious than
                            The Gift of Life…
                            as sisters, Martina
                            and Imelda – both
                            bank officials – tell

                            Martina Nugent has worked
                            in Bank of Ireland for 23
                            years in total. After spending
                            17 years in Branch Banking,
                            she has been a Project Man-
                            ager for the last six years in
                            Group Change Management
                            based in Donegall Square
                            South in Belfast. Her sister,
                            Imelda Loughran, has worked
                            in Northern Bank’s Lurgan
                            Branch as a Customer Service
                            Adviser for 17 years.

                            Martina’s story
                            I had a medical condition called
                            Polycystic Kidney Disease which is
                            an inherited condition from my

                            father. Polycystic Kidney Disease
                            leads to chronic kidney failure
                            normally when the person reaches
                            their 40s or 50s.
                                Over time cysts grow in the
                            kidneys so that eventually the
                            kidney can no longer function.          Martina (right)
                                Currently there is no cure for                        establish if any of my siblings could   have the transplant a number of
                                                                    and Imelda –      donate a kidney to me.                  months before requiring dialysis.
                            the condition. When the kidneys

                                                                    sisters with a          Imelda, my eldest sister, was a
                            start to fail, the only treatment is    very special
                                                                                      perfect match. My other two sib-
                            regular dialysis or a kidney trans-
                            plant for suitable patients.
                                                                                      lings were not.                         Imelda’s story
                                                                                            An extensive process of medical   It was quite a shock to learn that
                                In January 2008 I was told that
                            my kidneys would probably fail                            tests and checks began for my           Martina had inherited the same
                            within 18 to 24 months.                                   sister before she would be given        disease which marred our Dad's

                                One option mentioned at this                          the go-ahead to be my donor. The        life. When her kidney function
                            stage was the possibility of a living                     person donating needs to be in          began to fail rather rapidly, my
                            donor transplant, which ideally                           good health to be a donor.              sister, brother and I began the
                            would be a member of my family.                                 In the summer of 2009, once       process of donation. Much to their
                                In April 2008 my brother and                          Imelda was given the all-clear as       disappointment I was the only suit-
                            two sisters attended Belfast City                         my donor, I was put on a waiting        able donor. In fact I couldn’t have
                            Hospital to have initial tests to                         list for my operation. The aim is to    been a better match.

36                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                                                    life: style
     However, I had to undergo            up a kidney but she was very deter-
further tests before I got the go-
ahead to be a donor – without any
                                          mined and had such a positive outlook.
                                               We were admitted to Belfast City      The doctor’s story
risk to myself and my health.             Hospital on Sunday 25 July for our
     So began the process of frequent     operation the next day. Imelda was
examinations at the Belfast City          taken to theatre at 8.30am. At
Hospital.                                 11.30am the surgeon re-assured us
     In fact two years later and having   that all was well and I was taken to
had a full ‘MOT,’ we were ready to        theatre around noon.
avail of the first opportunity for the         When I came round in the
transplant operation to take place.       recovery room I was reassured that
     My only dread during this time       all was well and that the kidney had
was the fact that I could fall ill and    started to work straight away. This is
the transplant wouldn’t go ahead!         not always the case: it can often take
That would have been devastating          several weeks before the kidney
because as soon as I had the go-          begins to function.
ahead I just wanted to get on with it.         Imelda was able to be wheeled in
Never at any time did I doubt what I      to see me the next day. I was so
was doing. I just wanted to help my       relieved to see her looking so well.
sister have the gift of life without      She left hospital two days later. I re-    Kidney failure can
dialysis – after witnessing at first      mained for a further ten days.             occur for many reasons,
hand what Dad had to cope with.                I will have to take drugs for the     and affects people of
                                          rest of my life to stop my new             all ages – from babies
Martina’s story                           kidney being rejected. But this is a
                                          reminder each day of the very special
                                                                                     to octogenarians!
From 2008 to June 2010, I regularly                                                       When the kidneys
                                          gift that I have been given. Several       stop working com-
attended Belfast City Hospital where
                                          months on, we are both doing well          pletely, regular dialysis
my condition was closely monitored.
                                          and already I feel so much better.         treatment (carried out
My kidney function steadily declined
                                                                                     at home by the patient
over this period which left me feeling
lethargic and tired.
                                          Imelda’s story                             and their family, or
                                          I had the utmost care and attention        by attending hospital
    I was working full time through-
                                          from Pauline Haslett, living donor         three times a week)
out this period and looking after my
                                          transplant co-ordinator, she is            can keep people alive.
family– my husband, Patrick, and two
                                          invaluable. Dr. Aisling Courtney was            Dialysis, however,
teenage children, Cillian and Hannah.                                                                              Dr Aisling Courtney
                                          so supportive through every stage of       cannot provide the
                                          the process and even now they are          quality or quantity of
Imelda’s story                            only a phone call away.                    life that a new kidney can. Kidney transplantation
I was going from being well to the                                                   is the best treatment for many people with kidney
position of having to recover from
surgery. But Martina was going from
                                          Martina’s story                            failure. Ideally everyone who is suitable for a trans-
                                                                                     plant should get one before they even need to start
                                          I cannot speak highly enough of the
struggling to keep going daily to                                                    dialysis!

                                                                                                                                              IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                          nursing and medical staff of the
having a new life – and my recovery                                                       Kidneys can be donated from someone who
                                          Renal Unit and the Transplant
would be complete given time.                                                        has died in hospital of an unrelated cause, or from
                                          Ward in Belfast City Hospital for the
    I had the full support of my                                                     a relative or friend who is alive and in good health.
                                          treatment I have had in the last
husband, Edward, and my three                                                        The kidneys given by people who are alive usually
                                          fifteen years but in particular in the
daughters, Leesa, Gail and Lynn. They                                                work better and for longer than those from de-
                                          last year during my transplant.
never at any time questioned or                                                      ceased donors.
asked why – their attitude was the             Special thanks to my consultant
                                                                                          Unfortunately there are a lot more people wait-
same as my own. I had something           throughout these years Dr. Doherty
                                                                                     ing for a transplant than there are kidneys available,
my sister needed.                         who recently retired, Dr. Courtney
                                                                                     but I would encourage everyone to consider being
    Friends and colleagues were so        who has been such a support
                                                                                     an organ donor, either by considering giving a
supportive and commented on my            throughout the transplant process,

                                                                                     kidney if you have a relative or friend with kidney
bravery – but I never at any stage felt   Pauline Haslett the Transplant Co-
                                                                                     failure, or by registering on the NHS Organ Donor
this way, I was so delighted to be in     ordinator and Mr. Connolly, the sur-
                                                                                     Register ( It is a life-
a position to help Martina.               geon who performed my transplant.
                                                                                     transforming and life-prolonging gift!
                                          Imelda’s story                                                             Dr. Aisling Courtney
Martina’s story                           As Martina and I are both Bank
                                                                                                        Clinical Lead for Transplantation
                                                                                                                     Belfast City Hospital
                                          employees – working for different

In June 2010 we were given the date
for the operation – 26 July – it was an   Banks – we can assure all concerned        In the Irish Republic, would-be organ donors
exciting yet nerve-wracking time. I       even though we share a vital organ -       should contact the National Organ Procurement
worried for Imelda she was under-         there will definitely be no 'conflict of   Service at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.
taking fairly major surgery and giving    interest'!

                                                                                                        SPECTRUM                              37
                                                                                                                   december 2010
                                                                                                                                 ROI: Adult ¤6.80 Child ¤4.60
                                                                                                                NI & GB (exc. London): Adult £4.60 Child £3.65
                                                                                                                                         London: Adult £7.00
                                                                                                                                                   Child £4.50

                                                                                                                    Valid at 26 cinemas around
                                                                                                                    Ireland and over 180 more
                                                                                                                      in Britain to see any film
                                                                                                                       at any time on any day.
                                                                                                                     For full list of participating cinemas, see


                                                 • Arklow: GCG Cinema                   • Cork (Blackpool): The Reel             • Dublin (Swords):
                            CINEMAS IN IRELAND

                                                 • Banbridge: Iveagh Movie                Picture Show                             Movies@Swords
                                                   Studio                               • Cork (Douglas): Cinema                 • Dungannon: Global Cinema
                                                 • Belfast: Movie House                   World                                  • Glengormley: Movie House

                                                 • Carrick-on-Shannon: Carrick          • Cork (Mallow): Gate Cinema             • Letterkenny: Classic Cinema
                                                   Cineplex                             • Cork (Midleton): Gate Cinema           • Lifford: Eclipse Cinemas
                                                 • Castlebar: Mayo Movie                • Cork (North Gate Bridge):              • Listowel: Classic Cinema
                                                   World, Moneen                          Gate Multiplex                         • Maghera: Movie House
                                                 • Coleraine: Movie House               • Dublin (Dundrum):                      • Newtownards: Movieland
                                                 • Cookstown: The Ritz                    Movies@Dundrum                         • Sligo: GCG Cinema

                                                 • Cork (Ballincollig): The Reel        • Dublin (Stillorgan): Ormonde           • Waterford: SGC Dungarvan
                                                   Picture Show                           Cinema                                 • Wexford: SGC Enniscorthy
                                                 To avail of these tickets, please send a cheque made payable to the IBOA for the value of the number of tickets you
                                                 require to IBOA Cinema Offer, IBOA House, Stephen Street Upper, Dublin 8.
                                                 Note: IBOA accepts no responsibility for lost or stolen tickets, or for tickets which have passed their expiry date.

38                                        SPECTRUM
                                          december 2010
                                                                                               flick: pick

                                        Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Venice in The Tourist.

More chemistry in the periodic table!
 The Tourist is less than the sum of its parts
                                                                                                                                              IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
T   wo Hollywood A-listers – Johnny
    Depp and Angelina Jolie – an
acclaimed director, Florian The Lives
                                               hoping she will lead them to her lover, a
                                               thief who has stolen millions from a rather
                                               less than wholesome Russian.
                                                                                                    While Venice provides a spectacular
                                                                                               backdrop to the action, the core of the
                                                                                               film – the relationship between Depp and
of Others von Donnersmark; and a                     In order to throw the sleuths off the     Jolie – never really ignites.
                                               scent, Elise forms an attachment to a                So we are left with a meringue of a
talented supporting cast featuring             tourist, Frank, a hapless American maths        film – promising much on the outside but
Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton,                  teacher (Depp) traveling around Europe,         ultimately empty inside – rather like, Sex
Stephen Berkoff and Venice.                    because he roughly fits the description of      and The City, it is pleasing to the eye but
    Yet somehow The Tourist manages to         her beau.                                       with no real substance behind the froth.

be less than the sum of its parts!                   Frank is completely taken in by Elise’s        Occasionally even relatively mediocre
    And all those media stories about          flirting. And why not – when she appears        films can be lifted by the performance of
Depp’s real-life partner, Vanessa Paradis,     to be acting as a fashion model?                one or two stars. But unfortunately in this
being afraid that he might find it difficult         With elements of a spy thriller, a        case the weight of expectation seems to
to resist the charms of Jolie on the set,      romantic comedy and a travelogue, some          have been too much.
appear to be little more than a rather des-    reviewers have been drawn comparisons                Although Depp and Jolie are currently
perate attempt by the film’s publicity de-

                                               with the Alfred Hitchcock classic, North by     two of Hollywood’s biggest box office
partment to convince us that what we are       NorthWest.                                      draws and both award-winning actors
about to see is real sexual tension.                 But unfortunately The Tourist lacks the   (Jolie has an Oscar and Depp should have
    The Tourist sees Jolie as Elise, a femme   wit and the suspenseful engagement of its       had one), The Tourist is unlikely to feature
fatale being tailed by detectives who are      illustrious predecessor.                        in either’s “best of” retrospectives.

                                                                                                       SPECTRUM                               39
                                                                                                                  december 2010
                            music: maestro

                                                                   Arcade Fire

                            Cool as fire!
                                                                                                                                             Elvis Costello
                             Though none of the band’s current            not a band that’s out to party until we
                            eight-member line-up are likely to be         die every night. We did a lot of shows
                            mobbed in the streets, Arcade Fire have
                            beem acclaimed as the world’s finest
                            indie rock band.
                                Currently on a pre-Christmas tour of
                                                                          with a lot of bands that were living that
                                                                          dream, but it’s a dream I never bought
                                                                          into. It never seemed that fun. In fact, it
                                                                          was always kind of embarrassing to me.
                                                                                                                                 Elvis lives!
                            Britain and Ireland, the Montreal based
                            band bring a refreshing humility to a
                            music industry where hype is usually king.
                                                                          That isn’t what I think is cool about rock.”
                                                                                The sense that it is the music – rather
                                                                          than the image – that matters most is
                                                                                                                               F   ew artists could get away with making
                                                                                                                                   an album that runs the gamut from
                                                                                                                               jazz to vaudeville from bluegrass to
                                “The clichéed rock life never seemed      reflected in the stage presentation on this          country but Declan MacManus can and
                            that cool to me," said the Fire’s frontman,   tour. There are no special effects, apart            does in his latest album, National Ransom,

                            Win Butler, in a recent interview. “We’re     from a small video screen. The band                  which marks his second collaboration with
                                                                          needs no artificial aids: the music is               T-Bone Burnett within the last two years.
                                                                          allowed to speak for itself.                              While Elvis Costello has moved be-
                                                                                "Even when we started out playing              tween a number of different genres during
                             Special Offer for                            little art galleries in Montreal, we’d pick up
                                                                          on a certain level of cool stand-offishness
                                                                                                                               his long career, his latest release packs
                                                                                                                               them into a single album. Each song is
                                                                          in the crowd and just try and break through          linked to a specific time and place – rang-
                             IBOA Members                                 it,” Butler explained. “We wanted to con-
                                                                          nect with the audience in a way that
                                                                                                                               ing from “A Drawing Room in Pimlico,
                                                                                                                               London, 1919” or “Somewhere in South

                                                                          other groups we played with didn’t seem              America, 1951” to “On a Narrow Bed,
                                                                          to really care about. I guess, in one way,           Some Other Time.”
                                                                          every band ends up doing what they feel                   National Ransom bears further testi-
                                                                          other bands should do for them as fans.”             mony to Costello’s enduring talent as a
                                                                                Despite graduating from small intimate         superb song-writer. Long renowned for his
                                                                          venues to festivals and arenas, the band             clever wordplay, Elvis also offers wonder-

                                                                          is clear about its priorities:                       fully rich character portraits as well as a
                            ¤1 off every CD you                                 “If it stops feeling organic,” says Butler’s
                                                                          wife, co-writer and band member, Régine
                                                                                                                               fine line in heartbreak.
                                                                                                                                    Although some, who prefer their
                            buy when you visit                            Chassagne, “we’ll stop doing it. I have no           music in neat genre-defined boxes, may
                                                                          ambition to be the biggest or the best-              find the electicism of the album slightly
                                               selling. That kind of thing is not why I, or         troubling, National Ransom offers a diverse
                                                                          any of us, play music.”                              but compelling collection of songs.

40                              SPECTRUM
                                december 2010
                                                               book: worm
Too Big to Fail
                          Too Big to Fail: The Inside         While this approach
                          Story of How Wall Street       results in a very readable
                          and Washington Fought to       and engaging writing style,
                          Save the Financial System –    it also denies us any over-
                          and Themselves is the 800-     arching conclusions or even
                          page tome by Andrew Ross       a sense of who were the
                          Sorkin, of the New York        real villains of the piece.
                          Times, examining the fall-          Almost all of the main
                          out from the failure of        characters are presented
                          Lehman Brothers Bank.          as striving to do their best
                               Having reputedly spent    for the highest of motives,                          ,       g
                          over 300 hours interview-      whether to safeguard the          to Fail is essential reading
                          ing the main protagonists,     interests of shareholders or      for anyone who wants a
                          it is hardly surprising that   of taxpayers.                     clear sense of the individual
                          Sorkin is pre-occupied with         But there is little explo-   steps that resulted not only
                          the human failings of these    ration of the system fail-        in Lehman’s collapse but
                          characters and the human       ures that contributed to          also in chaos both on Wall
                          cost of the collapse.          the crisis.                       Street and Washington.

                          Free to choose – but
                          from a very limited menu
    Andrew Ross Sorkin    Ten years ago in The New Feminism, Natasha Walter declared that feminism should no
                          longer concern itself with women’s personal lives: feminism had triumphed and we were
                          well on our way to complete equality, she thought.
CHAPTERS                       In Living Dolls, she outlines why she now thinks she was wrong. She explains why
                          what we trumpet as an expansion of

                          ‘choice’ for women is actually the op-
                          posite – and talks to many young
                          women who feel as constricted by the
Parnell Street Dublin 1   prevailing “raunch culture” as previous

                                                                                                                           IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                          generations of women were by the
                          earlier emphasis on modesty and

                               While the opportunities available
                          to women may have expanded, the
                          ambitions of many young girls are in
                          reality limited by a highly sexualised
    discount              culture that asks them to see con-
                          sumerism and self-decoration as their

    for IBOA
                          only proper occupations, and their
                          bodies as their only passport to

    members                    At the same time we are asked to
                          believe that the inequality we observe
                          all around us is born of innate bio-
                          logical differences rather than social
                          factors. Drawing on a wealth of re-
  Show your IBOA          search and personal interviews, Living

  membership card         Dolls is a straight-talking, passionate
                          and important book that makes us
  at the pay point        look afresh at women and girls, at sex-
                          ism and femininity today.

                                                                                    SPECTRUM                               41
                                                                                             december 2010
                            sports: life
                                                                 IRFU’s wishful thinking
                            Over a century ago, before Ire-
                            land’s Rugby team had ever
                            locked horns with the All Blacks
                            or the Springboks, an English
                            writer by the name of William
                            Wymark Jacobs published a
                            horror story, The Monkey’s Paw.
                            This yarn introduced what has
                            become popular street wisdom:
                            be careful what you wish for.
                                 I wonder did that thought
                            cross the mind of anyone in
                            Lansdowne Road as November
                            gave way to December. It seemed
                            they had it all. Four Tests on
                            consecutive weekends.
                                 The champions of the world
                            as guests for the first inter-
                            national Rugby match in the new
                            surrounds of the game’s oldest
                            venue, and another headline act
                            in the All Blacks. There were
                            Samoa and Argentina too, to
                            offer another kind of yardstick.
                                 What they got was a sharp
                            blast of the chill of reality, and
                            not just in the sporting sense.      Flanker Stephen    ease. Ireland’s doughty late come-              What followed was supercharged,
                            An ill-conceived ticket plan that    Ferris touches     back that brought them to within          all right, and might even have ended
                            demanded top dollar led to red       down for Ireland   two points at the final whistle was       Ireland’s run of defeats had the out
                            faces and empty green seats. It      against            like the redeeming hit of the perfect     half crowned his cameo with a
                            must have been a source of           Argentina.         espresso after a forgettable dinner.      second conversion, but they remained,
                            huge embarrassment that the          (Photo: INPHO/     Invigorating as it was, the tang of       tantalisingly, two points short.
                            FAI Cup Final which slotted in       James Crombie).    its aftertaste could not obliterate the         Given that South Africa had
                            mid-month attracted more                                memory of what had gone before.           been beaten on their last three
                            through the gate than had                                    Too many unforced errors, too        visits to Dublin – most recently just
                            come to see Ireland beat Samoa                          little imagination. They were 23-9        a year ago – this was a huge dis-
                            the day before. The stadium                             down with just a quarter of an hour       appointment.
                            was 30% below capacity when                             remaining when the half backs                   Declan Kidney’s assessment was
                            South Africa played. Even the All                       were changed. O’Gara came on for          as honest as it was brutal. “We gave
                            Blacks failed to fill the Aviva.                        his 100th appearance, with Stringer       ourselves too much of a hill to

                                 And then there was the                             alongside him.                            climb,” he said.
                            Rugby. Two wins and two de-
                            feats from the Guinness Series

                                                                    10% discount for IBOA members
                            might have been the safe bet
                            before a ball was kicked. Two
                            wins and two defeats from
                            what actually transpired left as
                            many questions as answers.
                                 The World Cup may be ten                  on trips to major sporting events
                            months away, but the shape of
                                                                             in Britain, Scotland and Spain –

                            a side that might do damage
                            there is still hard to discern.
                                 Notes on the last Six Nations        as well as other holiday attractions in Britain.
                            in this space concluded with a
                            question: had the 2009 Grand
                            Slam been the summit, had this         For more information phone 00-353-1-6292000 or 00-353-21-4377501,

                            Ireland team’s time been and
                            gone. The first seventy minutes        e-mail: or
                            against South Africa lent that
                            thesis some validity.                  visit our website at
                                 This was an end-of-season
                            understrength Springbok XV,  
                            and still they cantered clear with

42                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                                          sports: life
by George Hamilton
                                                                                                       There were superb individual
                                                                                                  performances all over the pitch –
                                                                                                  Tommy Bowe and Stephen Ferris
                                                                                                  spring to mind – and of course
                                                                                                  Brian O’Driscoll was a towering
                                                                                                  presence. Ireland even led, for five
                                                                                                  glorious minutes just after the half
                                                                                                  hour, after Ferris smashed his way
                                                                                                  over the line.
                                                                                                       But sustained excellence was
                                                                                                  the preserve of the opposition, and
                                                                                                  13-9 had become 13-19 by half
                                                                                                  time, and 13-33 within ten minutes
                                                                                                  of the restart.
                                                                                                       This class of opposition does
                                                                                                  seem to spur something in the Irish,
                                                                                                  even if the cause is lost, and two
                                                                                                  tries –O’Driscoll got the other –under-
                                                                                                  scored the captain’s comment that
                                                                                                  “we did play some great stuff.”
                                                                                                       But not enough. The three tries
                                                                                                  New Zealand scored either side of
                                                                                                  half time illustrated the gulf there
                                                                                                  is between playing some great
                                                                                                  stuff and playing it when you have
                                                                                                  to. And with Dan Carter keeping
The best never slip far from the      scores, but missed it, and in the        Ireland’s Jamie    the scoreboard clicking on, the out-
summit.                               curious way of these things, it was      Heaslip contests   come was never in any real doubt.
     At least against Samoa there     Ireland who next put points on the       a line-out with    18-38 was an improvement on
was improvement to report. Well,      board, O’Gara getting what turned        Juan Fernandez     their most recent outings against
of a sort. The introduction of the    out to be the crucial touchdown.         Lobbe in the       the All Blacks and it did represent
two-metre-plus Devon Toner (6’11”     The best that could be said was          recent rugby       the high point of the autumn series.
in old money) meant the line-out      that the losing streak – four Tests      international      After it, the Argentina game was
was no longer a cause for concern.    plus two losses in Ireland XV            against            sure to be an anti-climax.
But now the scrum was misfiring.      games – was at an end.                   Argentina.              And so it turned out. But
And Samoa were refusing to play            Ireland have never beaten New       (Photo: INPHO/     against rugged opponents, Ireland
the part of perfect guests.           Zealand, and there was nothing in        James Crombie)     were solid, and there’s no doubt
     At 13-7, Ireland were by no      the two previous Tests to suggest                           that, in the problem areas, especially
means comfortable. It became 13-      that history would be made in                               the scrum, the graph, over the four
10, the game was swinging Samoa’s     November. And yet, this turned out                          weekends, had traced a trajectory
way. They had a chance to level the   to be the best Irish show of the four.                      of some slight improvement.

                                                                                                                                            IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                                                                                       Yet the worry would be that,
                                                                                                  notwithstanding the raised game
                                                                                                  against New Zealand, Ireland seem
                                                                                                  unable to build the kind of platform
   McInerney Sports                                                                               that they used as the foundation
      Travel Ltd.                                                                                 of their assault on the Grand Slam
                                                                                                  two seasons ago. They couldn’t
                                                                                                  always manage it when they came
                                                                                                  up short last term. That graph,
                                                                                                  taking in the bigger picture, is
 10% discount for IBOA members                                                                    heading gently south.

                                                                                                       With a Six Nations that begins
                                                                                                  away to Italy, and France and
            on travel packages to top soccer matches                                              England at home, maybe the fix-
                                                                                                  tures have fallen the way Ireland
                   in Britain, Scotland and Spain.                                                would wish. But perhaps that should
                                                                                                  be the limit of what they wish for.
                                                                                                       A steady improvement will

                 For booking call 1850- 206080 from the Republic
                                                                                                  have to be worked at if next
                   or 00-353-61-228022 from Northern Ireland.                                     autumn’s World Cup isn’t to
                                                                 become rugby’s equivalent of the
                                                                                                  monkey’s paw.

                                                                                                   SPECTRUM                                 43
                                                                                                              december 2010
                            super: quiz
                            prize: crossword                                                                      A prize of ¤50 will be awarded to the first entry
                                                                                                                  drawn from our post bag after the closing date.

                                                                                                                  Across:                                                  Down:
                                                                                                                  1. Collapse (9)                                          1. Former British premier (5)
                                                                                                                  6. Lorry (5)                                             2. Passionate (9)
                                                                                                                  9. Oak fruit (5)                                         3. River bird (10)
                                                                                                                  10. Learned discussion (9)                               4. Notice (7)
                                                                                                                  11. Tropical area said to be                             5. Vengeful rival (7)
                                                                                                                      the lungs of the Earth (10)                          6. Norse god of thunder (4)
                                                                                                                  12. For one time (4)                                     7. IBOA for example (5)
                                                                                                                  14. Graceful artistry (7)                                8. South African mining
                                                                                                                  15. Shameful controversy (7)                                 city (9)
                                                                                                                  17. Credit (7)                                           13. Film starring Bogart and
                                                                                                                  19. Absence of order (7)                                     Bergman (10)
                                                                                                                  20. Small measure (4)                                    14. Manufacture (9)
                                                                                                                  22. Decontaminated or                                    16. German breed of dog (9)
                                                                                                                      rendered infertile (10)                              18. Went in (7)
                                                                                                                  25. Openings (9)                                         19. Takes into custody (7)
                                                                                                                  26. Worthless (2,3)                                      21. UK’s deputy premier (5)
                                                                                                                  27. Keen (5)                                             23. Fear (5)
                                                                                                                  28. Thrown away (9)                                      24. Featured performer (4)

                                                                                                                  Name ............................................................         Union No .....................

                                                                                                                  Address ..................................................................................................

                            Previous solution                                                                     ...............................................................................................................
                            Across: 1. Cartridge; 6. Paper; 9. Badge; 10. Ballerina; 11. Locomotive; 12. Stag;
                            14. Painted; 15. Nicosia; 17. Tunisia; 19. Evinced; 20. Inch; 22. Blistering; 25.
                                                                                                                  Employer...................................           Branch/Dept....................................
                            Tolerance; 26. Tripe; 27. Crony; 28. Annulment.                                       A prize of ¤50 will be given to the sender of the first correct
                            Down: 1. Cabal; 2. Reduction; 3. Rheumatism; 4. Debated; 5. Enliven; 6. Peer; 7.      entry drawn from our post bag on January 31, 2011. Entries
                            Point; 8. Rearguard; 13. Accidental; 14. Patriotic; 16. Sacrifice; 18. Atlanta; 19.   should be sent to Crossword, Spectrum, IBOA – The Finance
                            Epstein; 21. Cello; 23. Great; 24. Prey.                                              Union, IBOA House, Stephen Street Upper, Dublin 8. A
                            The winning entry for the prize crossword competition in the last issue was           photocopy of the grid is acceptable if you prefer not to cut up
                            submitted by Jim Tallon of Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone.                                   the magazine.

                                                                                      Sheilas Flowers is a leading online florist and flower shop. We can
                                                                                      offer same day flower delivery personally throughout Dublin, Bray
                                                                                      and North Wicklow. Also as founding members of Interflora,
                                                                                      flowers and gifts can be delivered to practically anywhere
                                                                                      in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and worldwide.

                                                                                      From fresh flowers and plants to our extensive selection of
                                                                                      chocolates, wines, soft toys and balloons, we have a stunning
                                                                                      selection of gifts to choose from.

                                                                                      For more information on how to obtain your special 10% discount
                                                                                      in Ireland and the UK, check the IBOA websites:

44                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                                                                      super: quiz
picture: board                                        A prize of ¤30 will be awarded to the first entry drawn
                                                      from our post bag after the closing date.

                                   2                                           3                                                              4

     1                             5                                           6                                                              7
Use the first letter of the surnames of each of the people pictured to spell out the surname of a sporting personality. A
prize of ¤30 will be awarded to the sender of the first correct entry drawn from our post bag on January 31, 2011. The
winner of the last Picture Board quiz was Susan Crosbie of Foulksmills, Co. Wexford. The answer was Stallone.

sudoku: challenge                                                      A prize of ¤30 will be awarded to the first entry
                                                                       drawn from our post bag after the closing date.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
                                                   A prize of ¤30 will be awarded to the sender of the first correct entry
             7    4    9           5               drawn from our post bag on January 31, 2011.
                                                      All entries should be sent to Sudoku, Spectrum, IBOA – The
                             6     7               Finance Union, IBOA House, Stephen Street Upper, Dublin 8.
                                                      A photocopy of the grid will be acceptable – if you would prefer
 1       9                   5                6    not to cut up the magazine.
                                                      The winning entry for the Sudoku Challenge in the last issue was
         7   6         3                      5    submitted by Catherine Jinks of Craigavon, Co. Armagh.

 2                5          7                3
                                                   Name ............................................................             Union No: ............................................
 5                     2           4    7
 7                3                     5     2    Address ..............................................................................................................................

             3    7                                 ...........................................................................................................................................

             2         6     9     1               Employer.......................................................               Branch/Dept.........................................

                                                                                                                                 SPECTRUM                                                         45
                                                                                                                                                   december 2010
                            ultra: violet                                                                           with STEPHEN MALONE

                                                                                Although some of the corporate suits
                            Breaking Banks                                  may be uneasy at the possible negative          A Chip off
                                                                            consequences of being publicly associated
                            In line with the cinematic theme of some
                            of the graphics in this issue, Ultra: Violet    with such a controversial political figure,     the Old Block
                            can confirm there is absolutely no truth in     far more alarming for a product with a          OR DOG BITES MAN
                            the rumour that a major Hollywood pro-          reputation for banishing wrinkles and
                                                                            restoring lost youth would be the Libyan        Another WikiLeaks revelation that appears
                            ducer is considering making a film inspired
                                                                            leader’s lined and leathery complexion.         to have caused some consternation in
                            by the Anglo Irish Bank collapse under the
                            working title, BrokeBank Mountain.                  However, the Ultra: Violet column is        parts of the British media is the claim that

                                 The claim that this film would tell        nothing if not resourceful and we offer         the Duke of York – Britain’s trade envoy to
                            the story of two cowboys who got to the         this PR strategy to Allergan entirely free of   the Middle East – may have been rather
                            top and screwed an entire country is also       charge: just launch a viral campaign on all     indiscreet in comments he made recently
                            entirely without foundation.                    the appropriate social networking sites         to a business audience in Saudi Arabia
                                 The claim is clearly untrue – because if   based on the following question: “Who           about bribery investigations under way
                            such a film project was genuinely inspired      says he injects it into his face?”              back in the UK.
                            by the Anglo debacle, we would obviously                                                            Apart from criticising the activities of
                            be talking about a continent and an inter-                                                      the Serious Fraud Office in Britain as well
                            national currency rather than just a country!                                                   as investigative journalists for trying to
                                                                                                                            expose bribery, Prince Andrew is also

                                                                                                                            alleged to have made gratuitously dis-
                                                                                                                            paraging remarks about “the French.”
                            Botox-ification                                                                                     So a prince has problems with the
                            Among the more bizarre claims to emerge                                                         principle of democratic accountability.
                            from the revelation of confidential diplo-                                                      Dah! Isn’t that to be expected when your
                            matic communications by the whistle-                                                            family business is monarchy?

                            blowing website, WikiLeaks, recently is                                                             And this particular prince is inclined to
                            the proposition that the Libyan Head of                                                         be rather xenophobic. Remind me again
                            State, Muammar Gaddafi, may use botox                                                           who his father is.
                            for cosmetic purposes.                                                                              Surely the real shock would have been
                                This claim must surely cause great                                                          if he had adopted an approach based on
                            concern to Allergan, the US-based multi-                                                        ethical integrity and inclusiveness. Other-
                            national company behind Botox.                             Muammar Gaddafi                      wise, it’s just a case of “dog bites man.”

46                                SPECTRUM
                                  december 2010
                                                  Personal Days:
New Bank Policies                                 Each employee will receive 104 personal            Rising Sum
In this age of austerity, the Acme Bank is        days a year. They are called Saturdays and         In recent times there has been much talk
introducing new policies.                         Sundays.                                           about Japan’s “lost decade” when after a
                                                                                                     major financial collapse, the country was
Dress Code:                                       Bereavement Leave:                                 left with a number of zombie banks.
In future you should dress for work               Bereavement is no excuse for missing                    On further investigation, we found
according to your salary:                         work. There is nothing you can do for dead         that Origami Bank folded, Sumo Bank
• If you wear Prada, Versace or Gucci,            friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort     went belly up and Bonsai Bank cut many
you are clearly already overpaid and there-       should be made to have non-employees               branches. Karaoke Bank went for a song
                                                  attend the funeral in your place. In rare cases

                                                                                                                                                  IBOA - THE FINANCE UNION
fore do not need a pay rise.                                                                         as shares in Kamikaze Bank nose-dived.
• If you dress poorly, you obviously need         where employee involvement is necessary,                While Samurai Bank tried to soldier
to manage your money better and there-            the funeral should be scheduled in the late        on, the Ninja Bank took quite a hit but
fore a pay rise would be wasted on you.           afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to         remained in the black. Almost a quarter of
• If you dress appropriately, you are             work through your lunch hour and leave             Karate Bank staff were given the chop
obviously financially comfortable and             one hour early.                                    while their colleagues at the Sushi Bank
therefore do not need a pay rise.                                                                    also got a raw deal.
                                                  Think Positive:
                                                  Thank you for your loyalty to the Bank. We
Bathroom Breaks:
In view of the excessive time being spent
                                                  are here to provide a positive employment          Bankrupt Banker
                                                  experience. So all questions, comments,            So former Anglo boss, Séanie FitzPatrick
in the toilet, a strict three-minute time limit
                                                  concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations,

will be enforced in the cubicles. At the end                                                         has been declared bankrupt at his own
                                                  insinuations, allegations, accusations and
of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the                                                           request. Morally as well as financially?
                                                  other input should be directed elsewhere.
toilet paper roll will retract, the door will
open, and a photo will be taken. After your
second offence, your picture will be posted
                                                  “I used to think that if there was                 And Finally…
on the staff notice board.                        reincarnation, I wanted to come back               There is no truth in the rumour that when
                                                  as the President or the Pope or as a               Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein,

Sick Days:                                        .400 baseball hitter. But now I’d like             emptied his pockets at the security check
A doctor’s certificate is no longer accept-       to come back as the bond market.                   before the recent US Congressional hear-
able as proof of sickness. If you can go to       You can intimidate everybody.”                     ings on the banking crisis, a number of
the doctor, you can come to work.                                     – James Carville               Republican senators fell out.

                                                                                                             SPECTRUM                             47
                                                                                                                       december 2010

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