Saturday 24 February 2018

INBS hit by 4 receivershipsin handful of loans for 2010

Lender also extended credit to developers finishing off projects

Emmet Oliver Deputy Business Editor

Irish Nationwide, the building society run for almost 40 years by Michael Fingleton, gave out only a small number of commercial and property loans in 2010, but four of the firms went into receivership, figures show.

The building society backed loans for Jim Mansfield's Citywest development and three golf course companies, with all four going into receivership during the year.

They went into receivership shortly after Irish Nationwide formalised loan arrangements with them by taking charges over their assets.

Records with the Companies Office show that Irish Nationwide took charges over assets owned by developer Gerry Gannon during 2010, at his Gannon Homes company.

Construction firms run by members of the Durkan family also had charges taken over their assets in 2010.

Trouble

The building society was also a lender to Moyvalley Golf club and New Forest Golf club that both got into trouble during the year.

The company also extended credit and registered loans and charges with several other property companies.

The company has hugely reduced its lending to the property sector, but has extended credit to some firms to finish off projects or to acquire planning permissions.

However most of its major development loans are now gone into NAMA, where they are managed by the toxic loans agency.

Giving loans out to borrowers can be a long, drawn-out process and it can take several months for the loan to be actually registered after being agreed with a customer.

Banks were often slow to register charges over properties and other assets during the boom because such work could be time-consuming. There is no suggestion that this is what happened in any of the Irish Nationwide cases.

Nationalised

While the society is effectively nationalised and is in many respects dormant, it remains an active mortgage lender and deposit taker and, according to its own website, still offers deals for commercial property.

The society, which needs €5.4bn in total capital, is offering loans for office investment, hotels, restaurants, shops and B&Bs, according to the site. Much of this is believed to related back to the Fingleton era of lending.

Among the promises for potential borrowers is that they can avail of interest-only facilities and also loans where equity is released during the term of the loan.

Borrowers are advised to call into local branches for details of credit on offer.

The practices popular during the Fingleton era have been blamed by many for the scale of the losses at the society.

For example, Irish Nationwide had high loan-to-values in its property deals and also did not often require personal guarantees from borrowers.

Irish Independent

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