INBS inquiry opening statements set for December
Society’s former chief executive Michael Fingleton didn’t attend Monday’s meeting
Michael Fingleton, who led the society for 38 years until 2009 and is one of the five under investigation, informed the inquiry that he was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting.
An inquiry into the actions of five former Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) directors and senior staff in the lead-up to the financial crisis will hear opening statements in December, more than a year after the case against the men was outlined.
The inquiry’s chairwoman Marian Shanley said at a meeting on Monday on how the process will be managed that opening statements on December 11th, with the calling of witnesses set to take place from January.
Michael Fingleton, who led the society for 38 years until 2009 and is one of the five under investigation, informed the inquiry that he was unable to attend yesterday’s meeting as he was unavailable until October 5th, while the one-time chairman Michael Walsh was represented by his legal team and John Stanley Purcell, the former finance director, represented himself.
The inquiry did not hear from the last two men, Tom McMenamin, a former commercial lending manager, and Gary McCollum, who once headed the society’s UK lending from a base in Belfast.
The first public hearing of the case last November heard that the five men are accused by the Central Bank of failing to ensure that commercial loan applications were processed and later approved correctly.
The Central Bank also alleged that INBS failed to obtain proper security for commercial loans and it suspects that proper valuation reports on assets were not received and that internal loan-to-value limits were breached.
It is also alleged that the executives failed to ensure that commercial lending was effectively monitored in line with internal policies. The inquiry has the power to impose fines of up to €500,000 on the individuals.
The first phase of the investigation, beginning in December, will focus on alleged breaches by INBS’s credit committee. Mr McMenamin will not be part of this part of the inquiry, as he was not on the credit committee.