Business Irish

Sunday 23 April 2017

Nationwide retains link with Mulryan empire

Emmet Oliver Deputy Business Editor

Irish Nationwide, the building society previously run by Michael Fingleton, holds a 10pc share in one of Sean Mulryan's London development projects, company filings show.

The building society has been winding down its involvement in various property joint ventures, but company records show it holds an equity position in Landor (Dundee Wharf) company, along with Mr Mulryan's Ballymore Properties Limited.

The disclosure is in the last annual return filed by the company in the UK

The building society, which is due to receive €2.7bn from the Government, also has a loan in place with the same company.

Accounts for the UK company show Irish Nationwide holding a "fixed and floating charge'' over the assets of the company.

Process

The building society also has a charge over another Mr Mulryan company, Ballymore Ontario. The loans are repayable in one year, according to accounts for the firm year ended March 2009.

Ballymore, founded by Mr Mulryan, has a large land bank in the docklands area. Two of its earliest projects were in the areas called Dundee Wharf and Millennium Harbour.

Mr Mulryan is the largest Irish developer and is expected to get through the NAMA process easily.

In 2002, Nationwide reduced its holding in the firm below 50pc. Mr Fingleton stepped down as a director of the company in the same year.

Nobody from Irish Nationwide was available to comment last night on what it planned to do with property joint ventures it remained involved in.

The company has three directly-owned property companies -- Pangrove, Vernia and Cedarclose. It has also securitised its mortgage book into a vehicle called Armoin.

Irish Nationwide's loans were discounted by NAMA by 72pc recently in the second tranche, leaving the building society with the worst quality of loans moving into the agency.

This is believed to relate to the high loan-to-values given during the loan process.

It is also influenced by the fact that Irish Nationwide normally didn't require personal guarantees from developers.

This means that recourse to those borrowers is reduced, making it harder to recover money during a property crash.

Irish Independent

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