Saturday 24 February 2018

Nationwide board has last chance to consider Fingleton 'legacy issues'


Emmet Oliver, Deputy Business Editor

The board of Irish Nationwide will hold its final meeting next Thursday, giving it a last chance to consider the issues arising from the Michael Fingleton era at the society.

The current board will be considering the entire two-and-a-half years of its existence and deciding what issues should be passed on to the new Irish Nationwide/Anglo entity and what issues should be disposed of forever.

The Irish Independent understands the building society has sent several reports to the enforcement section of the Central Bank about corporate governance and lending practices at the society that occurred before the crash.

A separate so-called legacy issues report on the Fingleton era will also be considered at the board meeting.

The Department of Finance, however, is refusing to release two key reports on how the society was run before the crash. One was done by Ernst & Young and another one by McCann Fitzgerald.

The Department told the Irish Independent that releasing the reports could "prejudice or impair'' potential future court proceedings.

The Government could potentially release the reports through the Oireachtas library, but has so far decided against this option.

Asked where the current legacy issues review about Irish Nationwide was going, the NTMA, which has a major role in bank policy, said: "The INBS board has committed to the Minister for Finance to produce a report on legacy issues.

"It is expected that a final report on legacy issues will be considered by the INBS board in June 2011 and delivered to the authorities''.

The final board meeting of Irish Nationwide as a stand-alone entity will be a long meeting, allowing current directors to consider what should be referred on to a new entity.

It means that issues arising from the Fingleton era will be decided in future by the mainly Anglo-dominated board, most likely led by Mike Aynsley and Anglo chairman Alan Dukes.

Despite catastrophic losses and huge discounts under the NAMA process, Irish Nationwide, the institution, has not faced any action over its lending practices during the boom.

It is understood the current board has examined a range of transactions during the Fingleton era, but has not taken any legal remedies.

It is not possible for Irish Nationwide members to take actions, but would have to come from the current board.

Indo Business

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