herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Exposed: Fingers' €88k treasure chest for 5-star hotels, travel and even dental expenses

MICHAEL Fingleton has been quizzed over €88,000 in "suspect" extravagant expenses from Irish Nationwide.

It comes as Anglo Irish chairman Alan Dukes hinted there may be developments in the bank's efforts to get Fingleton to repay his €1m bonus.

Anglo, which took over Irish Nationwide in July, has highlighted a series of lavish expenses paid to the society's former chief executive.

It wrote to Fingleton demanding an explanation for the costs, which it says seem to have been claimed "inappropriately".

He submitted a tab for €12,180 for dental work while he still worked at the lender, according to information published today.

He was also paid €2,600 for a stay at London's Dorchester Hotel for himself and his wife after he left the building society in 2009.

Some €48,000 was spent at the K Club hotel and golf resort between 2005 and 2009, with €8,000-a-year going on membership fees, a newspaper report revealed.

Other items included a €6,000 Gucci watch auctioned for charity, which he then claimed as an expense; €7,000 on a two-night stay for Fingleton and five guests at Dublin's Westbury Hotel; €5,323 in cash for trips to the US, Russia and other locations; €3,742 on a week-long trip to Dubai in 2005 and €2,360 spent on chauffeur-driven cars between 2007 and 2008.

Anglo said Fingleton has provided "unacceptable and unsupportable explanations" for the costs to date, the report stated. The bank is seeking "verifiable details" in the way of receipts and other documentation to back up the expenses claims.

Bonus

In a letter on Tuesday, Anglo chief executive Mike Aynsley called on Fingleton to "behave in a decent, proper and honourable way" and return the bonus, watch and expenses, according to extracts published in the Irish Times today.

At the same time, Anglo is demanding the former building society boss repay a €1m bonus and return the €11,500 watch he received on his retirement in April 2009.

Mr Dukes has hinted the issue may be coming to a head, saying he expected some development in the coming days.

"Watch this space ... There will be one or two things coming out of that in the next couple of days I think," he said.

Enterprise and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said that any move to repay the money would be welcome.

"I've heard that Alan Dukes made some comments and certainly it would be the Government's position that bonuses were wholly inappropriate -- but this is a matter obviously between Alan Dukes and, of course, Michael Noonan would be the line minister responsible," he said.

comurphy@herald.ie

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