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EBS, INBS required to publish interim results

TWO of the country's biggest building societies will be formally required to publish detailed interim financial reports as they avail of the Government's €400bn guarantee scheme for Irish lenders.

"While the ratings agencies and financial regulator are kept abreast of their financial positions on an ongoing basis, there is a clear drive -- and need -- for greater transparency now that the taxpayer is exposed," said one source.

Irish Nationwide Building Society and EBS Building Society, are only required by law to publish annual accounts.

The four other institutions currently set to be covered by the scheme -- Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Life & Permanent -- are required, as publicly-quoted companies, to publish interim reports. They are also obliged to issue trading updates, such as interim management statements, under stock exchange rules.


The EBS said: "For the last two years we've made available interim accounts, which previously had only been provided to debt investors. The interim results were made available on the EBS website in order for members to access them online."

A sector observer said: "I could see why there would be a drive from a political prospective to outline a formal procedure for the building societies to publish interim data."

Official sources said Irish Nationwide would also be required to speed up its address of perceived corporate governance issues.

The society eventually bowed to pressure from credit ratings agencies last month to beef up its board, by appointing former assistant Dublin city manager Sean Carey as a non-executive director.

It is also seeking to appoint two more independent directors -- which would boost its boardroom to seven members.

However, the society has only one executive director on its board, finance director Stan Purcell.

Chief executive Michael Fingleton was required to step down last January -- under the society's own rules -- as he turned 70. But Mr Fingleton continues to run the institution.

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