Sunday 17 December 2017

Normal checks and balances ignored

Emmet Oliver

Irish Nationwide, the lender run for many years by Michael Fingleton, operated without the normal "checks and balances" considered necessary at most banks, the Nyberg report has found.

In the period between May 8, 2005, and May 11, 2006, for example, the building society's credit committee rarely even sat with a quorum of three people, and at four meetings only one person was present, the report claimed.

The way Irish Nationwide approved loans was not up to acceptable standards, the report found.

"Files were often badly maintained and loans were not subject to regular review,'' it pointed out.

The lender believed that by focusing on a small number of traditionally good customers it would be safe from any downturn. However, this just meant all the risk was concentrated in a small number of borrowers, the report said.

In the end, the lender's top 25 customers made up 51pc of its entire commercial loan book.

The building society had no "effective, independent'' credit risk system, found the report, and staffing arrangements were totally inadequate, with the lender's entire non-Irish commercial loan book managed by just two managers.

Irish Independent

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