Wednesday 29 March 2017

Siobhan Creaton: Fingers left rattled by his 'personal bank' skeleton

Michael Fingleton behind the wheel of his car in Blackrock, Dublin, earlier this year. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Michael Fingleton behind the wheel of his car in Blackrock, Dublin, earlier this year. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Siobhan Creaton

MICHAEL Fingleton hasn't mellowed or been in any way humbled by the destruction of Irish Nationwide. The disgraced banker showed his true colours at the Employment Appeals Tribunal attacking his accusers and absolving himself of his sins. It was a virtuoso 'Fingers' performance. The fiasco that has cost Irish taxpayers €5.4bn has nothing to do with him.

The man who ran the now defunct Irish Nationwide building society with an iron grip for 40 years was outraged to be accused of running the place like a "personal bank". That kind of talk was "slander" he bellowed, "absolutely not".

It is interesting that his outburst came on the same day the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) published its report into what went wrong at the Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns Ulster Bank here. Its reckless lending spree cost British taxpayers £45.5bn (€54bn) to rescue and it lays much of the blame for what happened with that bank's chief Fred Goodwin's "assertive and robust management style" and the regulator's failure to tackle it.

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