THE CHIEF executive of Irish Nationwide Building Society, Michael Fingleton, was paid a bonus of €1 million just weeks after the Government introduced the €440 billion guarantee to protect the entire banking system.
However, it emerged last night that the Department of Finance intends to put pressure on Mr Fingleton to repay the bonus.
Mr Fingleton’s “pre-contracted incentive bonus” for 2008 was revealed in the report of the Government committee set up to assess executive pay in the seven banks and building societies covered by the guarantee, which was introduced on September 30th.
The report from the Covered Institutions Remuneration Oversight Committee (Ciroc) showed that Mr Fingleton was paid the bonus in November. The building society agreed to the bonus early last year and it was paid before the two Government-nominated directors were appointed in December.
The Ciroc report showed that Mr Fingleton’s annual salary increased at a time when the banking sector came under severe stress and the Government moved to protect the financial system with the guarantee.
Mr Fingleton’s overall pay package for 2008 totalled €2.34 million, which included benefits and fees of €453,240. This was higher than his 2007 pay of €2.31 million and made him the best-paid chief executive in Irish banking for 2008.