Business Irish

Sunday 4 December 2016

Public fury saw 'Fingers' let go

He did not allow a staff party to mark his departure

Published 03/01/2010 | 05:00

MICHAEL "Fingers" Fingleton, the boss of Irish Nationwide for decades, hung on right up until April when public fury made his position untenable. The board, bolstered by two government nominees, eventually bade goodbye to the man who had run the mutual building society as a personal fiefdom for 37 years.

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Fingleton had infuriated his members and the Government by insisting on holding onto his €1m bonus at a time when Nationwide was flirting with insolvency. A further revelation that his pension fund had contained €27m at one point, forced the 72-year-old Fingleton out of office. He did not even allow staff to hold a party for his departure.

All the political connections he had built up over 37 years at the helm of the building society could not save Fingers from an early bath. The old warhorse had enjoyed massive pay days for the head of a building society, peaking at €2.3m in 2008.

The society had lent huge sums to property developers, loans that had apparently yielded fat profits during the boom but which are now destined for the tender mercies of Nama.

Sunday Independent

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