Allied Irish job cuts hit 2,500

ALLIED Irish Banks said it has begun talks with unions to axe 2,500 jobs, 500 higher than previously announced, in the latest blow to the country’s struggling workforce.

Allied Irish, which has been effectively nationalised and saved from collapse by emergency European Central Bank funding, said yesterday it would look to reduce its staff cost base by €170m per year.

Half of the departures will be finalised by the end of the year, it added in a statement. Allied Irish had said last year it would cut over 2,000 jobs during 2011 and 2012.