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Out with a whimper: Irish Nationwide bows out with "catastrophic" losses

Releasing its final annual results before its merger with Anglo, Irish Nationwide reveals an annual loss of €3.3 billion.

The seats of CFO John McGloughlin and CEO Gerry McGinn at yesterday's results announcement.
The seats of CFO John McGloughlin and CEO Gerry McGinn at yesterday's results announcement.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

FAILED BUILDING SOCIETY Irish Nationwide has announced record losses in its final set of accounts before being merged into Anglo Irish Bank, revealing that it lost €3.3 billion last year.

Chief executive Gerry McGinn acknowledged that the results were “catastrophic”, telling a news conference that the word ‘catastrophe’ was a valid one give how it is usually associated “with the final act of a tragedy”.

In notes accompanying the accounts, he added:

Our focus in 2010 was on getting to the bottom of the bad debt issues, so that the exposure of the Irish Government and taxpayer to the problems at the society could be fully understood.

The nationalised building society had already run up a €2.5bn loss in 2009, which the Wall Street Journal noted had included a series of loans transferred to NAMA at massive losses.

The Irish Times added that McGann said the discounts, or ‘haircuts’, applied to INBS loans by NAMA were proportionally higher than

The state had injected €5.4bn into the lender by the end of the last year – a gargantuan amount compared to its size. March’s stress tests underlined the need for another €3bn in state cash injections.

INBS is to be merged into Anglo Irish Bank later this year – which last year reported losses of €17.1bn, the largest in Irish corporate history.

Irish Nationwide’s chief executive immediately preceding its collapse, Michael Fingleton, was paid a €1m bonus upon his departure from the company – and despite persistent pledges, has yet to return it to the state-owned institution.

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Gavan Reilly

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