Michael Fingleton was an Irish banking legend, the ultimate big money lender. He took Irish Nationwide Building Society from an obscure mortgage provider to a multi-billion euro property-lending casino, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the tab for EURO5.4 billion when the society eventually went bust.
Fingleton earned over EURO2 million per year and built up a pension fund worth EURO27 million. But it was his loans to a small group of property developers and the way the society was mismanaged, under the nose of the Financial Regulator, that cost Irish citizens so dearly.
In Fingers, Tom Lyons and Richard Curran use previously unpublished material to blow open the failings of the society's internal systems and controls, its culture and the dominance of one man. They get inside the organisation and bring startling new revelations about how money was really lent out to a small group of developers, how INBS failed, and what the Financial Regulators knew.
* Fingleton's connections with politics, the media and the powerful
* how the society wasn't just a lender but became a player, taking stakes and shares in the profits of the ventures it bankrolled
* how Fingleton quaffed vintage wine in the finest restaurants, stayed in five-star hotels and put it all on the society's tab
* how ordinary borrowers in arrears were treated ruthlessly, while the mega-rich walked away owing billions to us.
Fingers goes to the heart of the state's failure to hold anybody to account for the Irish financial crash. It highlights the need for a proper banking inquiry to explain to the public what went wrong, how, and who is to blame.
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 504 g
Dimensions: 234 x 152 x 27 mm
"While for a long time, the major topic of debate was Anglo Irish Bank - the subject of many reports and stories and investigations - Lyons and Curran present a highly insightful and damning first look into the real story behind Ireland's worst bank." * , InBusiness Magazine (Chambers Ireland), May 2013 *
Fingers does the important job of providing as much insight as possible into what exactly went on inside one of the institutions that has proved so costly to the Irish taxpayer. * InBusiness Magazine *
It places Fingleton where he belongs, near the centre of the financial meltdown. By showing his rise and fall, and the context in which that happened, it also gives us a handy single-volume account of the greed and recklessness of a whole class of bankers, developers and their political enablers. -- Aoife Kavanagh * Sunday Business Post *
Fingers does the important job of providing as much insight as possible into what exactly went on inside one of the institutions that has proved so costly to the Irish taxpayer. -- Gene Kerrigan * The Sunday Independent *
This telling of Michael Fingleton's contribution to the bust is a far superior account of the recent crash than almost all that have gone before it - excepting Simon Carswell's stupendous Anglo Republic'. -- Aoife Kavanagh * Sunday Business Post Magazine *
Do yourselves a favour and get a copy. -- John Lee * The Mail on Sunday *