Fingleton to step down at end of month

MICHAEL FINGLETON will formally step down as chief executive of the Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) at the end of this month — ending 37 years association with the company.

Mr Fingleton’s imminent departure has been well flagged of late, although no firm timeframe for his leaving had been given until yesterday. He had hoped to retire at the end of February, when his already extended contract expired, but remained on following the sudden resignation of former chairman, Michael Walsh that same month.

Since then, Mr Fingleton sparked controversy over being found to be the sole beneficiary of a e27.6m pension fund pay-out and a e1m bonus he was paid last year — which has since been paid back by him, even though he wasn’t technically legally obliged to do so. The Government recently called the bonus payment “inappropriate” given that INBS was one of the six institutions reliant on State support.

In a brief statement made yesterday, the INBS board thanked Mr Fingleton “for the enormous and unique contribution he has made to the society over the past 37 years”, before wishing him “many happy years of retirement”.

INBS added that it is continuing its search for a long-term replacement for Mr Fingleton.

Ironically, in the short-term the position will be filled by non-executive director, Danny Kitchen — who recently turned down the role on a full-time basis due to his disagreement with the cap the Government has placed on the salary for the role. As part of the Government’s cap for bankers’ pay rates (as determined by the Covered Institution Remuneration Oversight Committee), a e360,000 ceiling has been put on the role of INBS head.

Mr Fingleton was the highest paid banking head last year, pocketing a basic salary of €2.3m.


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