Fingleton: I regret the taxpayer had to bail us out

Fingleton: I regret the taxpayer had to bail us out

Michael Fingleton has said he does not regret any decisions he took at the Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS), but does regret the taxpayer had to bail out the Society at a cost of €5.4bn.

However the former Society chief said he did regret that the Society had a commercial loan book that was "at the time - too large, and as a consequence of the crash was deemed to have significant losses within that book".

He told the Banking Inquiry that NAMA seriously undervalued loans at the society and would make a profit of around €1bn on them.

He also defended his €27m pension pot, saying the actual cost to INBS was €3m to €4m and that he invested that over the years to increase its value.

Questions to Mr Fingleton about his €1m bonus in 2008 and a retirement present of an €11,500 watch in 2009 have been blocked for legal reasons.

He said he did not accept that there were poor lending practices at the Society, though he did admit that not all paperwork was always on file for every loan. He said things were not done "perfectly", but no loan was approved without the approval of the board.

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