Inside the world of business
Complex Anglo Irish Bank affair set to run . . . and run
THERE WERE a number of cases, both criminal and civil, before the courts yesterday relating to Anglo Irish Bank and details emerging suggest that it could be some time before they reach an end.
At the Criminal Courts of Justice, former Anglo executives Seán FitzPatrick, Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer received the books of evidence. To say they are voluminous is an understatement. Each book, which is identical for each of the accused, runs to nine volumes and fills three boxes.
Down the road in the Four Courts, interesting issues were arising over the possible sequencing of civil proceedings involving Anglo and former executives in light of the criminal cases.
FitzPatrick and Whelan told the High Court they are concerned that the action due to start on October 16th against Anglo’s former head of Irish lending Tom Browne may conflict with their criminal case.
Both men have been subpoenaed by Browne to testify in his defence against Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo.
Tomorrow, Mr Justice Peter Kelly will hear the application by FitzPatrick and Whelan to have the trial against Browne put back.
Then there is an examination of FitzPatrick’s financial situation in the bankruptcy courts which his lawyers are trying to stop as they could also prejudice the criminal case against him. Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne has asked his lawyers to set out how and why this is so.
Disciplinary hearings by the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board into FitzPatrick, McAteer and two others have already been postponed on a request by the Director of Public Prosecutions as they could prejudice criminal cases.
And yesterday the Commercial Court was told that the action taken by the family of businessman Seán Quinn against the bank could take nine months from a provisional start date next April.
The Garda investigations into the events leading to the collapse of Anglo will be four years old in early 2013 and the criminal prosecutions have only just begun.
If they take precedence, it will be years before civil cases emerging from the fall-out of Anglo’s collapse in 2009 are fully resolved.
Minister likely to call time on tardy CIÉ and those overdue accounts
IT DOESN’T look like Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar is willing to extend the publication date for CIÉ’s 2011 accounts until the end of January next year.
The State-owned public transport group was due to publish its accounts at the end of last month, a date set when Varadkar granted the group its first extension earlier this year.
This time around, his department says that the Minister does not favour a further extension of the duration sought by CIÉ and plans to discuss the matter with its chairwoman, Vivienne Jupp.
You could hardly blame him.
CIÉ has had one extension. It is now seeking a second that could well see it publishing 2011 accounts in 2013. If CIÉ were a privately held, unquoted, limited company, it might be acceptable for it to seek one extension. If it were a plc, it would be running a serious risk to seek one, let alone two, extensions.