Irish Nationwide to accept funding

IRISH Nationwide Building Society (INBS) members yesterday voted to accept Government funding of up to €2 billion at a special general meeting.

Before backing the resolution they were told by chairman Danny Kitchen that former boss Michael Fingleton had not paid back the €1m bonus he had promised to return to the society.

Mr Fingleton said in a previous statement that certain accounting issues had to be resolved to his satisfaction before he would return the money.

Mr Kitchen confirmed the society hoped the money would be returned but added there was “very little by way of legal redress that we can bring to bear on the issue”.

Brendan Burgess criticised the move to enter merger talks with EBS.

“I don’t see the purpose of the merger. The society has failed,” he said, asking why the board had not considered winding up the business, which might have resulted in a surplus that could have been paid out to bereft members.

Mr Kitchen said that option had not been considered, but the board looked at a number of alternatives before engaging in merger talks with the EBS.

The question of what discount NAMA will impose on the €8bn plus being transferred also made it impractical to look at winding up the group at this point, he said.

Mark FitzPatrick, another member speaking from the floor, said he could not see how the state would ever get back its investment. Another jokingly suggested the board should consider asking “Mr Fingleton to come back and rescue us”.

In response to a question from the floor, Rory O’Farrell, appointed a non -executive director, said the Government said he was on €40,000 a year while an extra payment of €10,000 was paid to a director for chairing a sub- committee of the society.


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