Former director of Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) refused court orders requiring Central Bank give him certain documents used in correspondence
Published 26/02/2016 | 17:06
A FORMER director of Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) has been refused court orders requiring the Central Bank give him certain documents used in correspondence.
The documents concern a settlement reached with INBS of an inquiry by the Central Bank over past conduct of its affairs.
The Central Bank last year began an administrative inquiry against INBS and some persons involved with its affairs between August 2004 and September 2008, when the INBS crashed.
INBS' later merger with State-owned IBRC left the State liable for some €5bn losses at the society.
John Stanley Purcell, a former director of INBS, is among those being inquired into.
He has brought proceedings aimed at quashing the bank's decision to hold the inquiry.
Prior to the full hearing, he sought orders requiring the Central Bank discover correspondence between it and the current board of INBS
leading to the 2015 settlement of the bank's inquiry against INBS.
In a statement issued after that settlement, the Central Bank said INBS had admitted "multiple failings" at several levels of its commercial lending process, including "all the way to its Board of directors".
It also said a €5m fine was being imposed on INBS but, given it had no assets, that fine would not be collected.
Mr Purcell alleges the Central Bank acted in bad faith by agreeing what he alleges was a “completely artificial” settlement with INBS.
The Central Bank described those allegations as “scandalous and vexatious”.
The High Court last month refused Mr Purcell orders requiring the bank discover certain documents relating to the settlement.
He appealed that decision.
Mr Purcell had raised concerns about how the case settled when the current INBS directors previously said in correspondence they did not have the information to decide whether or not claims over the conduct of INBS affairs under its “legacy” directors were true.
Mr Purcell claims the settlement and the Central Bank’s publication of the statement about that have damaged his reputation and his entitlement to earn a livelihood. The Bank denies those claims.
A three-judge appeal court Friday (Feb 26) rejected Mr Purcell’s appeal over the refusal to order discovery.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine, on behalf of the court, ruled litigation privilege over the documents was properly claimed by the Central Bank.