Belfast Telegraph

Bankers face accountancy tribunal

Former Anglo Irish Bank bosses Sean FitzPatrick and David Drumm are to be hauled before an accountancy watchdog tribunal next year.

The pair have cases to answer about their roles in controversial transactions at the rogue lender, said the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board (Carb).

Willie McAteer, Anglo's former finance director and Peter Fitzpatrick, ex-finance director at Irish Life and Permanent, will also be summoned to the disciplinary hearings - which may be heard in public.

A spokesman said the regulatory board could go to the High Court to compel the former bankers - who are all chartered accountants - to attend the inquiry if they refuse to co-operate. They face suspension or expulsion from Chartered Accountants Ireland as well as fines up to 30,000 euro (£25,453) if found guilty of misconduct.

Mr FitzPatrick, former chairman of Anglo Irish, faces questions about the temporary transfer of his loans so they did not appear on the bank's financial statements.

An investigation found Mr FitzPatrick also has a case to answer about his role in transactions between Anglo and Irish Life at key dates in 2008 and in relation to a loan made to Mr McAteer in 2008, but he will not be quizzed by the tribunal about the loans made to 10 customers of Anglo Irish Bank - known as the Golden Circle - to buy shares in the bank.

John Purcell, former Comptroller and Auditor General who was appointed special investigator by Carb, said Mr FitzPatrick had no case to answer on the deal.

The tribunal will look to question former Anglo chief executive Mr Drumm about the transfer of Mr FitzPatrick's loans and their non-appearance in the Anglo books.

He also faces questions about transactions with Irish Life, the amendment of the terms of loans to the Golden Circle, loans to four key management personnel and the loan to Mr McAteer in 2008. Again, it was decided he had no case to answer about loans made to 10 top customers to buy shares in the bank.

Mr McAteer will be summoned over his role in the temporary transfer of loans of Mr FitzPatrick and their non-disclosure in financial statements, transactions with Irish Life and the appropriate disclosure of a loan made by Anglo to him in September 2008. Peter Fitzpatrick will be quizzed about his part in transactions between Anglo and Irish Life on key reporting dates in 2008.

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