Fingleton facing lawsuit after failure to repay €1m bonus

Fingleton facing lawsuit after failure to repay €1m bonus

Disgraced former Irish Nationwide boss Michael Fingleton is facing potential lawsuits as the State seeks the return of a €1m bonus.

Mike Aynsley, head of the former Anglo Irish Bank, now rebranded the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), announced plans for court action as the bank reported pre-tax losses of €873m for last year.

Four other executives, including ex-chairman Michael Walsh, are also named on the warning papers lodged in the High Court.

Mr Fingleton has been chased by the IBRC, since it took control of Irish Nationwide, to repay the bonus awarded weeks after the Government bank guarantee in 2008. He promised to pay the bonus money back but has not.

The banker also holds an €11,500 watch received as a retirement gift and charged expenses to the bust building society.

A spokeswoman for IBRC confirmed the court papers involving Mr Fingleton is a protective plenary summons designed to warn defendants of a potential lawsuit.

The lodging of papers falls within the six-year statute of limitations as some of the matters occurred as far back as 2006.

The bank, which took control of the bailed-out Irish Nationwide Building Society, refused to detail what specific issues they will challenge the five executives on through the courts.

Meanwhile, the IBRC annual report for 2011 revealed chief executive Aynsley was paid a total of €866,000 including a salary of €538,000 euro - in excess of the bankers' wages cap of €500,000 euro plus a car allowance of €38,000.

The 54-year-old Australian, appointed in September 2009 to lead the Anglo wind-down, also received a pension contribution of €125,000.

The pay package was topped off with €203,000 in temporary allowances - for relocation assistance including rent, travel and other agreed expenses.

Chairman and non-executive director Alan Dukes was paid fees of €150,000, €100,000 euro lower than the agreed contractual fee.

On his remuneration package, Mr Aynsley said: "I don't blame people for feeling hard done by because the banks didn't do a very good job over the last number of years.

"I'm paid very well. I think I said last year I'm very grateful that the allowances were paid so that I could come here."

A spokesman for the Department of Finance said remuneration arrangements for senior IBRC officials were approved by the previous Government.

The Government added that all salaries are in line with the cap and Mr Aynsley's remuneration has fallen since 2010 when he had a total pay package of €974,000. The allowance of €203,000 is expected to end this year.

IBRC's €973m losses compare to the record losses of €17.7 bn losses in 2010.

The annual report for last year, revealed that it has €1.64bn set aside for bad loans.

It said staff costs fell by 8% last year with the headcount of 1,219 down by 11%, primarily due to 210 staff transferring to AIB.

It also began the lay-off of another 130 staff late last year under voluntary redundancy. It will be completed this year.

The losses for 2011 include €214m following the transfer in February of the majority of the bank's Irish and UK deposit books, losses on some bonds in the State's National Assets Management Agency and on the shares in transfer of its Isle of Man subsidiary to Allied Irish Banks (AIB).

There were losses of €426m as it shifted other assets, primarily the sale of the majority of the bank's holdings in the US.

Some €108m was spent on professional fees as bankers attempt to recover assets and fight cases in the courts, including the high-profile battle with Sean Quinn, who the bank alleges owes debts of €2.8bn.

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