Ex-INBS executives seek to halt Central Bank inquiry

Michael Fingleton

Irish Nationwide Building Society’s former CEO Michael Fingleton and ex-director John Stanley Purcell have launched High Court proceedings aimed at stopping the Central Bank from conducting an inquiry into alleged regulatory breaches at the financial institution.

The two, with others, are the subject of the Central Bank’s inquiry into allegations certain proscribed contraventions were committed by both INBS, and certain persons concerned with its management, between August 2004 and September 2008. 

The inquiry, in the event of any finding of wrong doing, has the power to impose a significant fine on an individual.

Mr Justice Michael White yesterday following separate applications, granted lawyers acting for both men permission to bring judicial proceedings aimed at preventing the Central Bank from holding the inquiry.

Both are seeking various orders and declarations from the court in respect of the Central Bank’s decision to launch an inquiry which they claim is disproportionate, oppressive and unreasonable.

In their proceedings, both former INBS executives say proceeding with the inquiry is a breach of fair procedures and an unlawful breach of their rights to a fair hearing.

Francis Kieran, counsel for Mr Fingleton, said his client’s challenge was based on a number of grounds including that there had been a lengthy delay in bringing the inquiry.

The judge after granting leave to bring the proceedings, on a ex-parte basis, adjourned the cases to September 17 when both parties would ask the High Court for a stay to be placed on the inquiry from proceeding pending the determination of the applications.


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