The Deputy will be aware that as Minister for Finance, I am precluded from intervening in how Bank of Ireland manages its day-to-day business and relationship with any of its customers. Decisions in this regard are solely the responsibility of the board and management of the bank which must be run on an independent and commercial basis. The independence of the banks in which the State has a shareholding is protected by Relationship Frameworks which are legally binding documents that cannot be changed unilaterally. These frameworks which are publicly available, were insisted upon by the European Commission to protect competition in the Irish market.
On the question of agreeing a redundancy package in the case of the staff of Debenham’s business in Ireland, I can confirm that I have no role in this regard. However, it is my expectation that the relevant parties, in their negotiations with staff and its representative bodies, are fully cognisant of all statutory requirements and terms and conditions that have been previously agreed with employees.