Wednesday 13 December 2017

Fingleton expenses include €3k liquor gift for Smurfit

Michael Fingleton,Managing Director of the Nationwide Buildings Society.Pic Tom burke 11/7/08
Michael Fingleton,Managing Director of the Nationwide Buildings Society.Pic Tom burke 11/7/08
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

The lavish lifestyle of Michael “Fingers” Fingleton was revealed in court yesterday – much of which was expensed back to Irish Nationwide over the decades that the disgraced banker presided over the financial institution.

Details of the extraordinary items that the former CEO expensed back to the building society include exclusive hotel and restaurant costs, expensive golf trips, and a variety of extravagant gifts.

Businessman Michael Smurfit’s present from Fingleton, who stepped down as the chief executive of the bank in 2009, was worth €3,255 and was purchased in a liquor store in St Bartlelemy in the Caribbean.

Other expenses that emerged include:

*€1,000 Brown Thomas gift token for a daughter of developer Gerry Gannon.

* €12,180 for dental fees over two months in 2008.

* €6,000 for a Gucci watch bought at auction in 2006 and later re-auctioned, with the funds given to the charity, the Jack & Jill Foundation.

* €4,525 was also claimed for a New York jeweller, Maurice Columbus and some €8,000 for a Caribbean jeweller.

Irish Nationwide also footed a whopping pension advice and arrangements bill totaling €90k for its former boss. The figure spent by the building society on arranging the more than ample pension provision emerged in the Commercial Court in a case taken against Mr Fingleton to retrieve a €1m bonus he was paid in his final months in charge.

The special liquidators of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), which incorporated Irish Nationwide as well as Anglo Irish Bank, are suing Mr Fingleton and four other directors of the building society which suffered losses of €6bn between 2008 and 2010.

They claim that the losses arose from development loans made while Mr Fingleton was chief executive. The liquidators have argued that Fingleton should not have been paid a €1m performance bonus prior to his departure – but should have been summarily dismissed instead.

The case has been fast-tracked to the Commercial Court and is likely to be heard next year.

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