Our President & Chair

Jim O'Keeffe, Managing Director of Retail Banking, AIB has been appointed President of Banking & Payments Federation Ireland and Fernando Vicario, Fernando Vicario has been appointed Chair of the Federation of International Banks in Ireland.

BPFI President – Jim O'Keeffe

Jim O’Keeffe, Managing Director of Retail Banking, AIB has been appointed President of Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

Jim has held key roles in transforming AIB’s retail customer relationships, overseeing the bank’s digital services, branch banking and Group mortgages. He also worked at a senior level for AIB’s former operations in Poland. In 2015, he joined AIB’s Executive Committee as Head of Financial Solutions Group reducing the bank’s Non-Performing Exposures (NPEs) while supporting thousands of customers in difficulty. In 2018, he became Chief Customer & Strategic Affairs Officer and since January 2020 has overseen AIB’s retail customer franchise, leading c. 4,500 colleagues who serve over 2.8m customers. Jim is also responsible for a number of Group entities and joint ventures including AIB Mortgage Bank, EBS, Haven, AIBMS, Payzone, Nifti and AIB’s planned new joint venture with Great West Life Co.   

Speaking on his appointment Jim O’Keeffe said: “I am delighted to be appointed President of Banking & Payments Federation Ireland at a time when the sector is focusing on a number of key priorities to support our customers and communities. These priorities include the migration of more than one million customer bank accounts from Ulster Bank and KBC; continuing to work with the Irish Banking Culture Board; and following through on the recommendations from the Minister for Finance’s Retail Banking Review. 

Jim added “BPFI plays a key role in representing the banking, payments and fintech sectors in Ireland with over 125 members. We also represent the sector at EU level where key decisions are taken. Working together with BPFI and all its members I look forward to my term ahead as we continue to build trust, engagement and innovation across the sector in the interests of all our customers and communities.’’ 

FIBI Chair– Fernando Vicario

Fernando Vicario, CEO of Bank of America Europe DAC, and Country Executive for Ireland appointed Chair of the Federation of International Banks in Ireland, the international banking division of Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.

A native of Pforzheim, Germany and a Spanish national, Fernando has worked for Bank of America (BofA) for over 25 years. He has held multiple roles, including head of Corporate Banking for Financial Institutions in Europe and Emerging Markets (ex-Asia), head of EMEA Global Product Solutions, head of EMEA and Latin America Corporate Banking and co-head of EMEA Debt Capital Markets and Corporate Banking.

Fernando sits on the EMEA regional executive committee, the global Diversity & Inclusion committee (D&I) of BofA and co-chairs the EMEA environmental, social and governance (ESG) Strategic Council. Fernando is also a member of the Board of the Open Doors Initiative in Dublin.

On taking up his new role, Fernando said: “I am honoured to have been selected as the Chair of FIBI at a time of opportunity for international banks and investment firms in Ireland. FIBI has become the voice of the sector and was a key driver in the establishment of the Central Bank of Ireland’s Financial Industry Forum. While the sector has grown steadily over the past decades, we have seen Ireland punching above its weight within the European Union and internationally. Ireland is an established hub for many banks servicing the European market; ranked as the 6th largest exporter of financial services in the world and the 19th largest international banking sector globally. International banks in Ireland are also contributing substantially to employment across the country with over 14,200 people employed at the end of 2022.”

Fernando continued: “It is a priority of mine to promote further accessibility, cultural diversity and female leadership within the sector. We need to leverage diverse views and experiences in order to foster innovation, generate new developments and to continue to attract top talent in a competitive market. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Government in the development of its international financial services strategy so that Ireland remains a key financial centre.”

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