Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Ex Anglo bankers face probe over deals

Top BANKERS Sean FitzPatrick and David Drumm will be forced to come clean in an inquiry to be held in April about key decisions which led to the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank.

The bank's former bosses can now be legally compelled to give evidence about their activities. And they face a lifetime ban from working as accountants in high finance if they can't explain why certain deals took place.

They will be hauled before an accountancy watchdog tribunal after the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board (CARB) in the Republic ruled they had questions to answer about their roles as Anglo's former chairman and former chief executive.

The news comes as Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions considers the first garda files on controversial transactions at the rogue lender.

The Irish taxpayer is facing a bill of up to €34bn for saving the bank, even though it is due to be wound down over coming years.

Mr Drumm will have to explain his role in:

n The transfer of €87m of loans by his colleague Sean FitzPatrick over almost a decade.

n Deposits which went between Anglo Irish and Irish Life -amp; Permanent (IL-amp;P) during a key period in 2008.

n Changes made to loans given to a so-called 'golden circle' of developers to buy Anglo shares.

n Loans given to four 'key' managers.

n A loan given to former chief financial office Willie McAteer in 2008.

For his part Mr FitzPatrick has been asked to explain his role in:

n The temporary transfer of his own loans over an eight-year period and non disclosure of this in Anglo's books.

n Transactions between IL-amp;P and Anglo during 2008, at the height of the financial crisis.

n A loan given to Mr McAteer in 2008.

However, crucially for Mr FitzPatrick, he has not been found to have any case to answer in relation to the golden circle loans, which were used to purchase a 10pc stake in Anglo controlled by businessman Sean Quinn and family.

Most of these loans given to "loyal" Anglo customers have not been repaid, costing the Irish taxpayer €300m to date.

Separately Mr McAteer, a former chief financial officer at Anglo, has been asked to explain his role in three transactions, including Mr FitzPatrick's loans and a loan Mr McAteer took himself.

The fourth banker facing questions is Peter FitzPatrick, the ex-finance director of IL-amp;P, who will have to give answers on the movement of money between the two institutions in 2008.

It is understood that Mr FitzPatrick will strongly contest any suggestion he gave permission for either the 'golden circle' loans or the movement of deposits.

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