Wednesday 17 January 2018

Where are they now?:Tom Foley


THE former KBC boss has 30 years of banking experience in Ireland and Britain.

A qualified chartered accountant, he worked with RBS Group and Price Waterhouse Cooper in his early career before joining the Belgian-owned business and mortgage bank IIB in the Nineties.

He progressed to become executive director of treasury and capital markets and private banking and wealth management at IIB.

In 2005, he took charge of IIB Homeloans (later renamed KBC), one of the country's largest mortgage providers. Irish mortgage business as a whole reached over €1.6bn in loan value that year, and Irish house prices were rising in double figures.

In IIB's 2005 homeloans study, Foley noted of the property market: "The market as a whole is still dominated by sensible borrowing and lending practices. As a result, we're not seeing the proliferation of exotic and occasionally risky mass market products that are becoming more commonplace in markets such as the US."

During his tenure, KBC dipped a toe in the sub-prime mortgage market, through the launch of Stepstone Mortgages in 2006, but it would close its doors to new business in 2008 as the property crash took hold.

Foley retired from the board of KBC in 2009.

He was recently recruited by Peter Nyberg's commission of investigation into the banking crisis.

He also sits on the Department of Finance's expert group on mortgage arrears and personal debt, the body charged with looking at support measures for struggling mortgage holders. It delivers its final report next month.

He is non-executive chairman of property asset management consultants WK Nowlan and Associates.

He is in his late 50s and lives in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

Sunday Independent

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