Central Bank seeks new venue for Irish Nationwide inquiry

Regulator considers moving sanctions inquiry to its own building at Spencer Dock

Central Bank: furniture and other contents from its former premises had been disposed of in line with the bank’s asset disposal policy. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Central Bank: furniture and other contents from its former premises had been disposed of in line with the bank’s asset disposal policy. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

The Central Bank of Ireland will have to find a new venue for its administrative sanctions inquiry into Irish Nationwide Building Society after the building in Dublin currently being used for the hearings was sold.

This emerges in the minutes of the Central Bank commission’s meeting on March 24th. It said a process was under way to identify “suitable new premises, most likely in the bank’s [existing] Spencer Dock building”.

The Central Bank had originally taken a 12-month lease for “certain areas” of the DMG building at Blackhall Place in Dublin for its hearings, with an option to extend.

The lease started in June 2016 and the building had been adapted at some cost to provide suitable accommodation for the hearings.

The building was originally under the control of a receiver, Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton, but has since been sold with the new owner planning to revamp the premises.

Some five former directors and senior managers of INBS are accused of regulatory breaches between August 2004 and September 2008, the month of the government’s bank guarantee.

The inquiry began its hearings in November 2016 but hasn’t sat since March of this year. A range of sanctions can be applied to the five men, including a fine of up to €500,000.

The minutes also reveal that the Central Bank was looking at auctioning contents from its former head offices buildings on Dame Street and College Green, which were sold at the end of last year for €67 million.

Furniture and contents

In a statement, the Central Bank said “furniture and other contents” from its former premises had been disposed of in line with the bank’s asset disposal policy.

“The most cost-effective solution was to reuse some items in the Central Bank’s other premises, and to dispose of remaining contents to third parties and, at the same time, donate many of the items to charities and schools, and allow staff to acquire a small number of items in exchange for a donation to our partner charities.

“The remaining contents were of mixed value and were sold for a nominal amount, on the basis that the third parties were responsible for extraction, transport and disposal costs, which otherwise could have cost the bank circa €60,000.”

Separately, the minutes state that 4,888 levy notices had been issued to firms with a value of €78.9 million in October 2016. This levy is designed to fund the costs of regulation.

By February 23rd, some €77.8 million had been collected from firms with reminder letters issued to all those who had not yet paid.

Legal judgments were secured against two retail intermediaries who had not paid older levies. Summary judgments were registered in the District Court under the Consumer Credit Act 1995 against Gerry Burns of Cavan and Damian Condon of Fairview.