Irish Nationwide management structure was 'highly unusual' - report

Tuesday 12 February 2013 11.46
The report into Irish Nationwide found poor practices and inadequate records
The report into Irish Nationwide found poor practices and inadequate records

A confidential report into activities at defunct lender Irish Nationwide says that a "highly unusual" management structure operated in the building society.

The report, by consultants Ernst & Young and solicitors McCann Fitzgerald, was commissioned by the chief executive who replaced former boss Michael Fingleton.

The document highlighted poor loan performance, poor lending practices and inadequate credit risk management records.

The report has been uncovered by the makers of documentary ‘Inside Irish Nationwide’.

The report found that €6.6m was paid into a trust company based in Jersey for which no documentation existed.

It said €10m was used to settle a legal dispute but there was no paperwork regarding the litigation.

It said there were €2m of invoices which the building society paid twice.

This issue went unchallenged and was not followed up.

The report said there was €435,000 paid to a company but when it was checked by Ernst & Young it emerged the firm did not exist at the address which had been specified.

Michael Fingleton had been given special powers by the board of the building society which would allow him set interest rates and conditions for loans without consulting the board of directors.

The report stated that there was evidence that the credit committee could be circumvented due to these powers. It described this practice as highly unusual and contrary to normal practices.

A review of loan files by Ernst & Young said lending files were brief, loans were poorly structured.

It added there was evidence of loans being granted before they were approved by the building society's credit committee.

Last week the building society, which was part of IBRC, was put into liquidation.