Irish Nationwide, the building society led for 30 years by Michael Fingleton, is sitting on repossessed homes and other properties worth over €7m, almost double the level held during 2007.

Fingleton stepped down as chief executive last week, after he became embroiled in controversies over pension payments, bonuses and the company's huge loans losses. The 2008 annual report shows that in 2007 the society held properties, at fair value, of €7.1m, up from €3.6m in the previous year.

"Repossessed properties are made available for sale in an orderly fashion, with the proceeds used to repay or reduce outstanding indebtedness," said the building society. It said it did not "generally" occupy repossessed properties for its own use.

While the society held over €7m worth of reclaimed properties, it only sold properties worth €700,000. If it makes a profit after selling a repossessed house and clearing the mortgage, it returns the excess to the customer or pays off other secured parties.