Monday 23 October 2017

Fingleton’s world: €88k in expenses on top of €1m bonus reporters

DISGRACED banker Michael Fingleton, who still has not returned his €1m bonus or the €11,500 retirement watch he received, was also paid €88,000 in expenses regarded as "suspect".

The former chief executive was covered by Irish Nationwide, now nationalised, for €48,000 spent at the K Club and golf resort, €12,000 for dental work and €2,600 for a two-night stay at a five star London hotel after he had left the building society.

The staggering expenses, revealed in the Irish Times today and regarded as “suspect” by State-owned Anglo Irish Bank, which took over Nationwide, are being vigorously queried.

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton has also criticised the expenses which he described as “inappropriate.”

The bills reimbursed for Mr Fingleton include:

- €73,524 in expenses from 2005 – 2009 including €48,000 spent at the K Club and four years of K Club membership fees @ €8,000 per year.

- €12,180 for dental work incurred when he was chief executive.

- €2,600 for two nights at the Dorchester Hotel, London for Mr and Mrs Fingleton in 2009.

- €5,323 in cash for trips to US and Moscow.

- €3,742 for a week-long trip to Dubai.

- €2,360 on chauffer driven cars in 2007 and 2008.

- €6,000 paid to the Jack and Jill charity relating to auction bid for a Gucci watch.

- €7,000 paid to the Westbury Hotel in Dublin in February 2009 for Mr Fingleton and five guests.

In a letter seen by the Irish Times the bank told Mr Fingleton (73) that the expenses “appear to have been claimed inappropriately and you have provided unacceptable and unsupportable explanations”.

Mr Fingleton has previously maintained that all expenses were incurred in the promotion of the business and in building customer relationships.

The chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, Alan Dukes revealed yesterday that the row over the €1m bonus paid to Mr Fingleton may soon be resolved.

The bonus was paid in November 2008 two months after the government was forced to rescue the banks with a guarantee for all deposits. The State has had to inject €5.4billion into Irish Nationwide to cover losses on loans made to property developers and builders.

Mr Fingleton has refused to return the money, or a watch valued at €11,500 which he was given by the building society on his retirement in April 2009.

Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide, which have both been nationalised, will be wound down over the next ten years.

Mr Dukes said yesterday that he expects positive developments on the bonus and watch. "Watch this space? There will be one or two things coming out of that in the next couple of days I think," he said.

Mr Fingleton also left Irish Nationwide with a €27m pension pot.

A recent employments appeals tribunal heard that Mr Fingleton ran the society like a “personal bank.”

It was claimed he operated special loan facilities for "unlimited amounts of money" for his friends in the media, government and social circles.

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