Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher has told investors he is determined to maintain good relationships with the bank's leading property developers, despite their current financial difficulties and the transferring of their loans into Nama, the national asset management agency.
At recent investor meetings Boucher made it clear it should be possible to maintain existing relationships, including those with property developers. The meetings were with overseas investors and also with Dublin-based stockbrokers such as Dolmen Securities.
"We value our customers and we are committed to maintaining relationships with all customers who are prepared to work with us," Bank of Ireland said last week when asked about Boucher's comments.
Boucher has presided over a major recovery in the bank's share price since taking up his post earlier this year. The stock is up 167% since the start of the year. The bank has also appointed a new chairman, Pat Molloy, who is expected to bring more traditional banking values to the bank, which used to be known for its conservatism.
Boucher, a South African, advised property developer Seán Dunne on his acquisition of the Jurys hotel site in Dublin 4. He also wrote a submission to the city council advocating that planning permission be granted for the contentious redevelopment. Dunne has described Boucher as a "very good friend of mine".