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Bid to force bonus banker Fingleton to repay €1m

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Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: PA

Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: PA

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DISGRACED former Irish Nationwide chief Michael Fingleton is being persued for the €1m bonus he promised to return to Irish taxpayers, but failed to.

The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish bank, which also took over Irish Nationwide, was given permission by Finance Minister Michael Noonan to apply to the High Court to take action against Mr Fingleton (74) and four other Nationwide directors, including former chairman Michael Walsh.



The IBRC issued a “protective plenary summons” against Mr Fingleton and the other directors this afternoon, it is understood.



The proceedings signal a potential series of actions to come and were issued today in a bid to stay within the statute of limitations.



Mr Fingleton was paid the €1m bonus just weeks before the business had to be guaranteed by Irish taxpayers in 2009.



He also received a €27.6m pension package.



IBRC last year called on Mr Fingleton to explain €88,000 of expenses claims,including €48,000 in fees to the K Club, a €12,800 bill for dental work at the Blackrock Clinic and a €2,762 bill for a stay at a five-star London hotel after Mr Fingleton had left the building society.



The IBRC and politicians from all sides have repeatedly asked Mr Fingleton to repay his €1 million bonus and to return the €11,500 watch he received on retirement, but he has refused to do so.



A recent employments appeals tribunal heard that Mr Fingleton ran the society like a “personal bank.”



It was claimed he operated special loan facilities for "unlimited amounts of money" for his friends in the media, government and social circles.



Irish Nationwide has received €5.4bn from the State to cover losses on a loan book worth €12bn at its peak.