As the Deputy will be aware, a Relationship Framework has been specified that defines the nature of the relationship between the Minister for Finance and AIB. These Frameworks were first published on 30 March 2012 and the latest AIB Relationship Framework can be found at; http://www.finance.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/AIB-Relationship-Framework-Agreement.pdf .
On 19 December 2018, under the terms of the framework agreement, AIB submitted a consultation letter to the Minister in regard to the appointment of a new Chief Executive and Executive Director of AIB Group. The Minister noted the contents of this consultation and on 28 January 2019 the bank was informed as such.
Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a significant shareholder in the institution, the commercial independence of the bank is protected by the Relationship Framework (which was insisted upon by the European Commission). The regulatory process behind this appointment is run directly and independently with the appropriate regulatory authorities
However I have received the following response from AIB:
"On 14 December 2018 AIB Group plc announced that it has concluded the selection process for Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Executive Director, and Dr. Colin Hunt is proposed as the successful candidate. The Bank has commenced the required regulatory fitness and probity assessment process and consultation with the Minister for Finance in respect of the proposed appointment. Subject to the satisfactory conclusion of the aforementioned processes, Colin Hunt will succeed Bernard Byrne, who announced on 26 October 2018, his intention to step down this year. An announcement regarding the effective date of the appointment will be made in due course."