Wednesday 21 March 2018

Fingleton facing civil action as bank seeks return of €1m bonus

Michael Fingleton. Photo: Frank McGrath
Michael Fingleton. Photo: Frank McGrath
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

CIVIL actions have been launched against five former directors of Irish Nationwide Building Society by the special liquidators of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

It is understood that papers will be served on former managing director Michael Fingleton shortly.


KPMG, the special liquidator appointed to IBRC, is seeking the return of a €1m bonus paid to Sligo-born Mr Fingleton.


This bonus was paid to when Mr Fingleton stepped down from Irish Nationwide in 2009 for his performance in 2008.


During that year the bank posted losses of €234m and was guaranteed by the government along with the country’s other main financial institutions.


IBRC is also thought to be examining a number of loans.


Many of the decisions made by Mr Fingleton have been criticised in the years since he left Irish Nationwide.


Some of the lending practices of the former bank were highly unorthodox.


Another point of scrutiny is the existence of a special Irish Nationwide account called the 'No. 3 account', controlled solely by Mr Fingleton and just one other member of staff between 2002 and 2008.


This account was used to immediately disburse funds when required for 'sensitive situations'. It could make payments without formal limits and was used for purposes including granting loans to politically sensitive figures or for the settlement of disputes.


The bank account was identified by forensic accountants from Ernst & Young who were employed by the State to examine the books.


IBRC, the bad bank comprised of Irish Nationwide and Anglo Irish Bank, was liquidated after a controversial midnight vote by the Dail in February.

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