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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019
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Fingleton 'personally set interest rates' in Irish Nationwide: report

Reports received by the Financial Regulator reveal how the former chief executive took personal control over the bank’s affairs.

THE FORMER CEO of Irish Nationwide Building Society, Michael Fingleton, had been given special powers by the institution’s board to personally dictate the interest rates and conditions of loans given to individual borrowers.

Details of Fingleton’s management of INBS – which was ultimately taken into state ownership in 2009, and which is in the process of being wound down – have been revealed in reports forwarded by society to the Financial Regulator, and seen by the Sunday Business Post.

The reports also include details of how Fingleton used the ‘special powers’ granted to him by the board to completely circumvent Irish Nationwide’s credit committee, and showed that some loans were extended without being expanded upon at all.

Elsewhere, the reports show that the bank had, on occasion, paid invoices for substantial sums twice, and paid millions for consultancy services linked to some of its borrowers.

They also show that Fingleton and one other senior manager controlled a private account which was used to make payments without limit, to settle disputes, and to provide a loan to what Richard Curran describes as a ‘politically-sensitive figure’.

Fingleton quit the bank in April 2009, and was paid €1m as a bonus for his performance in 2008. Though he pledged pledged to return it, he has yet to do so.

Read more in today’s Sunday Business Post >

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Gavan Reilly

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