Thursday 22 February 2018

Irish Nationwide fined €5m, admits widespread regulation breaches

Irish Nationwide: selling off a number of branches. Photo: PA
Irish Nationwide: selling off a number of branches. Photo: PA

Paul O'Donoghue

Irish Nationwide Building Society has been hit with a €5m fine by the Central Bank for multiple breaches of financial services law and regulation.

However, despite the fact that the Central Bank decided to impose the maximum applicable fine of €5m it noted that INBS “does not have any assets [and] it would not be in the public interest to pursue the collection of the fine.”

A statement from the organisation added: “Accordingly, the Central Bank will not do so on this occasion.”

The Central Bank’s investigation began in 2010 and focussed on INBS’s compliance with its own policies and procedures for commercial lending and credit risk management during the period 2004 to 2008.

The collapse of the building society cost the Irish taxpayer €5.4 billion.

Among other infractions the Central Bank found breaches in the loan approval process, the monitoring of commercial lending and the role of INBS’s Credit Committee.

The Central Bank's Director of Enforcement, Derville Rowland, said that INBS admitted failings amount to a "consistent and, at times, wholesale disregard for its own policies and procedures".

"It is imperative that all regulated firms comply with financial services law and regulation and have robust systems and controls in place to continuously test and ensure compliance with their internal processes and controls,” she said.

The settlement concludes the case against the firm.




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