Thursday 30 March 2017

Nationwide chief McGinn leaves to take over First Trust in North

FINANCE

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

IRISH Nationwide boss Gerry McGinn (right) is departing the defunct building society to head up AIB's First Trust business in Northern Ireland.

The move was announced yesterday and comes six weeks after Irish Nationwide and Anglo Irish Bank were formally merged into a new entity dubbed IBRC.

Nationwide has since been pared back to a shell company that's being maintained for legal reasons, while its various units are in full wind-down as part of the Anglo structure.

It is understood that there was no pay-off involved, even though Mr McGinn's Nationwide role effectively ceased to exist with the merger.

AIB declined to comment on whether Mr McGinn's salary at the bailed-out bank would match the €445,000 he was paid at Nationwide last year.

In an email sent to staff yesterday, Anglo boss Mike Aynsley described the move as a "great opportunity" for Mr McGinn to "return to his home town" in Northern Ireland.

Mr McGinn could not be reached for comment, but sources said the role at First Trust was more suited to his background in retail banking than the wind-down of Nationwide.

He joined embattled Nationwide in 2009, taking over an institution that was already on course for a state rescue.

Since then, the tiny building society has hoovered up €5.4bn in taxpayer cash, prompting Mr McGinn to express his sadness and anger at the "catastrophic losses".

"Gerry has been instrumental in the transformation of Nationwide over the last two years and has played an invaluable role in the transfer of the Nationwide business to the bank," Mr Aynsley told staff yesterday.

Mr McGinn's new appointment marks the first dedicated chief of First Trust since Terry McDaid stepped down as managing director in July 2009.

The Northern Ireland unit was subsequently ear-marked for sale, but the disposal was shelved after First Trust failed to attract sufficiently high bids.

AIB executive chairman David Hodgkinson yesterday sent an email to staff announcing the appointment and wishing Mr McGinn "every success in his new role".

Mr McGinn will report to AIB's UK managing director Nick Treble.

Meanwhile, betting giant Paddy Power yesterday announced that former Ulster Bank chief executive Cormac McCarthy was joining its board; while KBC announced that KBC group executive Luc Gijsens was taking over as chairman of KBC Ireland.

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