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Ex-Anglo bank chairman broke and can’t pay €70m loan

Former Anglo Irish chief Sean FitzPatrick has told the bank he is effectively broke and cannot repay the €70m (£63m) he owes in unpaid loans.

As a result, the bank is now entitled to pursue all assets owned by Mr FitzPatrick, including his family home in Co Wicklow.

The bank yesterday began legal action against Mr FitzPatrick as it sought to recover the money owed by its former chief executive and chairman.

Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan last night welcomed the move and warned the money must be recouped. He said the bank's management team would “pursue it to the ends of the earth”.

While Anglo can place a claim on the FitzPatrick home, if it is owned by both spouses the bank cannot take possession.

Land registry records show that Ulster Bank already has a claim or “lien”' on the property.

It is understood Mr FitzPatrick will not fight the legal action by the bank, but will reveal he has no more assets to convert into cash.

Mr FitzPatrick was worth €90m (£81m) at the peak of the Celtic Tiger, but the nationalisation of Anglo dented his wealth.

The moves against Mr FitzPatrick are separate from a range of probes about his decision not to disclose the loans to shareholders over an eight-year period.

Mr FitzPatrick, his legal advisers and bank representatives have been meeting over recent weeks to thrash out a deal on his loans. However, these negotiations have not proved successful.

A deadline for the payment of the money came this week, but Mr FitzPatrick could not do enough to stop the bank going down the legal route.

The bank entered a summary summons at the Irish High Court yesterday. It will now seek a hearing at the Commercial Court, which deals with cases involving more than €1m.

The loans held by Mr FitzPatrick are understood to be “fully recourse”, which means Anglo can seek judgments against any assets it wants.

It may be more difficult to get judgments against assets outside Ireland. For instance, he owns a share in a Nigerian oil well.

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