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Fingleton agreed Lynn loan, trial is told
Pic: RollingNews.ie

23 Nov 2023 / courts Print

Fingleton agreed Lynn loan, trial is told

A former senior banker at Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) has told the trial of Michael Lynn (pictured) that he has never met the former solicitor.

“They are all lies,” former home-loans manager at the building society, Brian Fitzgibbon, responded when defence counsel put forward his client's position that they had met and had had dealings with him.

Mr Lynn (55), of Millbrook Court, Redcross, Co Wicklow, is on trial accused of the theft of around €27 million from seven financial institutions. He has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of theft in Dublin between 23 October 2006 and 20 April 2007.

It is the prosecution’s case that Lynn obtained multiple mortgages on the same properties, in a situation where banks were unaware that other institutions were also providing finance.

‘No communication channels’ with Lynn

Karl Finnegan SC, prosecuting, read evidence given by Lynn at the first trial to Fitzgibbon yesterday (22 November).

Lynn gave evidence during the first trial that he had met Fitzgibbon, whom he described as INBS Chief Executive Michael Fingleton's “right-hand man”, several times, and that they had had a good relationship.

Fitzgibbon told the court that he had never met or spoken to Lynn “in any capacity”. He said that he had “no communication channels at all” with Lynn.

Fitzgibbon agreed with Finnegan that he would have the “port of call” to approve loan facilities “up to his discretion” when Fingleton was not available.

‘Extra level’

Olivia Greene previously told the trial that she was a senior underwriter for INBS when Lynn's €4.1 million mortgage application was referred to her in late 2006 by Mark Mulcahy, Dun Laoghaire branch manager.

Greene said that the loan amount was outside of her discretionary limit, and that she discussed it with Fingleton. As a result of this conversation, a loan offer was made.

When asked about this loan to purchase a property in Howth, Glenlion, Fitzgibbon said that he didn't feel “comfortable” and rejected it.

He said that he told Mulcahy there was an “extra level”, and that the loan could be presented to Fingleton. He said that this happened, and it was “agreed”.

Fitzgibbon agreed that his approval was noted on the loan facility to Lynn for Glenlion. He said Fingleton “would sign very little loan documentation”.

He told the jury that he understood the loan was for a principal private residence and, in these cases, the bank would require the first legal charge as security.

Fingleton discretion ‘unusual’

Fitzgibbon agreed with Mark Lynam SC, defending, that there was a “specific dynamic” within the building society, and that Fingleton would have wanted to know about a significant loan.

Lynam put it to the witness that Fingleton's position was that he had approved the loan. He denied this “categorically” and said that Fingleton had agreed it.

Defence counsel suggested to Fitzgibbon that INBS was an “abnormal lender”.

He disagreed, saying that the vast majority of lending was asset-backed. “Where it was unusual was the authority and discretion Mr Fingleton had to go outside normal procedure,” he added.

Fitzgibbon said that he was aware that there would have been “favoured clients”.

Court orders

In other evidence, an employee of Danske Bank gave evidence that the institution retrieved a number of documents in response to a court order – including some records from the bank's debt-collection system.

He said that personal email accounts were deleted three months after staff left the institution, and that staff who had had dealings with Lynn had left the institution around ten years ago. He said that no hard-copy paper file was retrieved, but he could not say if it had been lost or destroyed, as there was no record.

He confirmed that the bank had procedures in place to identify material that should not be destroyed where legal proceedings were ongoing.

A worker from Ulster Bank's parent company, National Westminster Group, confirmed that no records of internal investigations in relation to Lynn's lending had been recovered on foot of a court order.

She also said that no emails sent or received from a Kendar Global email address had been recovered following a search.

The witness told defence counsel that she did not carry out the searches directly, and had no personal knowledge of the search parameters used.


Separately, an employee of Rabobank, the parent company of ACCBank, gave evidence about searches carried out by the institution after receiving court orders to supply documents relating to internal investigations into Lynn's lendings, and correspondence to and from a Kendar Global email address.

He said that there were no records of internal investigations about the bank's lending to Lynn. He also confirmed that a number of emails were recovered and provided to gardaí.

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and the jury.

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