FOR sheer brass neck, it is hard to match the haughty insouciance of the former Irish Nationwide boss Michael Fingleton.
At the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry yesterday, he made a robust defence of his €27.6m pension pot and said it had grown because he had personally managed the fund, implying that it was his banking brilliance alone that saw it rise to such heady heights.
Mr Fingleton told the inquiry that the net cost of the fund was €3m to the building society and he grew it tenfold. That would be all very well were it not for the fact that he also presided over the biggest share of the biggest financial crash in Irish history. Mr Fingleton was head of Irish Nationwide from 1971 to 2009 and while he was building up his pension pot the society went into freefall, finally being bailed out by €5.4bn in State funding. He said he regretted very much that the State and taxpayer had to pick up the bill for the financial crash, saying he had also ‘paid a price’ and continues to do so.
Not half the price the rest of the country is paying.
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