Bank of Ireland and HP at loggerheads over porn pay-off

Bank of Ireland and HP at loggerheads over porn pay-off

Bank of Ireland and outsourcing partner HP are arguing over who should foot the bill for the departure of disgraced bank chief Michael Soden who was forced out of his job after he was found to be surfing porn and escort agency Web sites on his office PC.

The Bank of Ireland boss was forced to quit his post in June after it emerged he'd been surfing for porn at work - in direct contravention of his own policy on inappropriate office computer use.

Soden's illicit computer habits came to light after a disgruntled IT staffer ran a check on his office PC. The bank had been engaged in a bitter dispute with labour unions over plans to outsource 500 IT staff to HP.

The bank is now blaming HP for allowing the information about Soden to become public after it was leaked to the local press. They say the supplier should pick up a portion of the tab for Soden's severance pay. The BoI chief was halfway through a £5 million contract when the scandal broke.

Michael Losey, the HP executive responsible for the Bank of Ireland account, has recently left Ireland to return to Canada. HP insists there is no connection between his departure and the ongoing dispute with the bank.

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