independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Ex vice-chairman wants 'thorough' bank probe

IRISH Nationwide's former vice-chairman Con Power has called for a "thorough" inquiry into the collapse of the Irish banking system.

"It [Irish Nationwide] may have cost €5.4bn – there was over €60bn that the whole thing cost. There should be a thorough inquiry not just into a minnow like the Irish Nationwide but into all others," Mr Power told RTE Radio 1's The Business with George Lee yesterday.

Defending his performance as a non-executive director of Irish Nationwide, Mr Power said that based on the information he had been given in relation to the society's activities while serving there he had believed – albeit incorrectly – that "all the boxes had been ticked".

Asked if he would return the director's fees he received during his tenure with Irish Nationwide, he said: "My record shows I put serious work into that [directorship]. I was grossly underpaid."

Mr Power stressed that he had been the only non-executive director at any of the six bailed-out banks to have resigned in protest over an issue of governance prior to the banking system's collapse.

He also pointed out that he had sought to leave the society in 2002.

"I was feeling the stress that I felt I shouldn't feel and my wife and daughter said 'dad, get off that [board]' and I went into the Central Bank in October 2002. I expressed my concerns in very great detail and I was asked by the Central Bank to remain in post for what was then seen as a short time."

'Fingers: The Man Who Brought Down Irish Nationwide and Cost Us €5.4bn' by Tom Lyons and Richard Curran, published by Gill & Macmillan is available in bookshops now priced at €14.99.

Irish Independent

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