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'Fingleton should have been sacked'

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Michael Fingleton

Michael Fingleton

Michael Fingleton

FORMER banker Michael Fingleton should have been sacked from Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) instead of receiving a €1.2m bonus, the Commercial Court has heard.

FORMER banker Michael Fingleton should have been sacked from Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) instead of receiving a €1.2m bonus, the Commercial Court has heard.

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) is suing Mr Fingleton and others for tens of millions of euro over the management of INBS in the years before its nationalisation.

Mr Fingleton is being sued for breaching his obligations as a director and chief executive. There is also a claim to recoup a €1.2m bonus payment, which IBRC says he should not have been paid.

The bank claims Mr Fingleton would have been summarily dismissed rather than have been paid the bonus in 2009 if the true picture of how the society was run was known.

The court has agreed to fast-track legal action against Mr Fingleton and other directors. IBRC is also seeking to recoup expenses the bank claims he should not have been paid. Mr Justice Peter Kelly said investigators had to "reconstruct" records to ascertain the true picture of what went on at the INBS. This was because Mr Fingleton left "astonishingly little" behind by way of written records of his actions, the judge said.

 

Millions

Four former directors are also being sued for tens of millions for a breach of duty in allowing Mr Fingleton to have too much control. Mr Justice Kelly said Irish Nationwide's assets were transferred to NAMA in two tranches with discounts of 50pc and 75pc, the largest discounts of all financial institutions entering the NAMA process.

Counsel for the bank Maurice Collins said hundreds of transactions had been looked at and 20 transactions had been subjected to detailed forensic review. The case relates to the lending policies in place since 2002, the adequacy of those policies and if they were implemented, and the corporate governance structure. The case against former directors Terence Cooney, Stan Purcell, David Brophy and former chairman Michael Walsh was also accepted into the Commercial Court list.

Mr Justice Kelly adjourned that case for five weeks.


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