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INBS & ‘FINGERS’

For long periods he has managed to fly below media radar, trained on his former financial colleagues Sean Fitzpatrick and David Drumm. But it appears the guns are now being firmly pointed once again on Michael Fingleton.

The former grandee of the Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) is now at the centre of a probe by the Financial Regulator, who has received “damning new reports” from the building society dealing with corporate governance failures, according to The Sunday Business Post.

These include:

  • Circumvention of the credit committee by Fingleton through his use of special powers granted to him by the INBS board which allowed him to set, vary or alter interest rates charged on loans and to decide the fees associated with them
  • Evidence of loans granted before formal approval and differences in the amounts being lent to the amounts approved
  • Evidence of the funds borrowed being issued to associated companies rather than to the stipulated borrower
  • No formal process for extending loan terms
  • Evidence of invoices for substantial sums being paid twice
  • Millions spend on consultancy services to UK offshore companies linked to borrowers
  • Fees paid to developers for introducing other developers to joint venture deals

 

The investigation by an accountancy firm and solicitors also found that Fingleton, who had been at the helm of Irish Nationwide for more than 30 years, and another senior executive controlled a discretionary fund used for immediate disbursement on behalf of the society.  Payments could be made without limit and had been used to settle disputes and for a loan to a “politically sensitive” figure.

 

Fingleton has consistently denied any wrongdoing in his stewardship of the society.

 

The newspaper’s deputy editor Richard Curran also speculates that “despite the failings in corporate governance over many years, the additional powers granted by the INBS board to Fingleton could mean that he may not have broken any society rules, because he had been given discretion over so many decisions

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