Donal O'Donovan: 'Paltry fine at odds with costs borne by ordinary citizens'
The paltry fine of €23,000 slapped on Irish Nationwide Building Society's one-time head of commercial lending, Tom McMenamin, bears no relationship to the scale of losses at the now bust lender.
Taxpayers sank €5.4bn into INBS, which was nationalised in 2010 during the depths of the crisis, and will claw back little or nothing of that money.
Even the regulators who imposed the fine announced yesterday admit it was out of keeping with the scale of breaches Mr McMenamin had admitted to.
However, under the law as it stands, regulators cannot impose a financial penalty that would be likely to cause Mr McMenamin to go bankrupt.
"The Central Bank considers that the breaches admitted by Mr McMenamin merited a monetary penalty of €250,000," it said in a statement. However, taking into account his current personal financial situation the Central Bank slashed the fine to €23,000.
That will be seen as bitterly ironic. McMenamin was a key and senior decision-maker at INBS during the boom.
Bank bailout costs borne by ordinary citizens as a result of the financial crash stand at about €42bn. That's a 'fine' of €8,600 each for every man, woman and child in the country.