MANHATTAN (CN) – One day after issuing its annual bonuses, an Irish bank tried to “claw back” the money it paid to every employee in North America, according to a federal complaint. One exec says he anticipated the clawback, and transferred his $315,000 bonus to another account, so “AIB’s attempt to retrieve the money failed” – but he had to pay it back anyway.
Two executives sued the Allied Irish Bank, saying it is “contractually bound to pay the bonuses,” which sometimes exceed their annual salaries.
Ronald Rapp and Douglas Marron say the bank deposited their 2008 bonuses into their accounts “sometime over the weekend before Monday, Feb. 2, 2009,” and tried to claw them back the next day.
Rapp, executive vice president for capital markets banking, says he anticipated the clawback, and transferred the $315,000 bonus to another account, so “AIB’s attempt to retrieve the money failed.”
But in his complaint, Rapp says he “felt he had no choice” but to return the $315,000 after his supervisor, Paul Carey, managing director for capital markets in North America, demanded it on behalf of AIB.
Rapp says he has earned bonuses that matched or exceeded his salary since he began working for AIB in 2002.
Carey told bank staff that the bank would repay bonuses “soon,” and he told Rapp that the bank was “contractually bound to pay the bonuses,” according to the complaint.
Douglas Marron, senior vice president for corporate banking North America, says he has earned annual bonuses that were “in the range of” his salary since starting with AIB in 2004. Marron’s 2008 bonus was $185,000, and AIB clawed it all back one day after depositing it.
The plaintiffs seek damages from AIB for breach of contract and labor law violations. They are represented by Anne Clark with Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard.