FitzPatrick says he paid education fees of Anglo officials’ children as “gifts”
Former bank chairman tells court of plan to fund “bright young kid”
Sean FitzPpatrick leaves the Four Courts after giving evidence in a High Court hearing .Photograph: Collins Courts
Bankrupt former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick has told the High Court he intended any profits from his Stg£250,000 investment in a London property, funded via a loan from Anglo, would give “a lift” and “a chance of money” to a “bright young kid” who joined the bank from school.
Mark Redmond could have made thousands “or nothing, which is what it turned out to be”, Mr FitzPpatrick said.
Mr FitzPatrick added he paid, from his own money as “gifts”, school and college fees for some children of Anglo officials.
While not wishing to “sound arrogant”, he was “quite wealthy” in November 2006 when he decided to invest in the Woolgate Exchange office property for the benefit of Mark Redmond. Then aged 23 and from Tallaght, Mr Redmond was “not a graduate” and had joined Anglo in 2000 straight from school, he said.
Mr Redmond was working hard, including managing a range of investments of Mr Fitzpatrick, his wife and children and the €250,000 investment “was to give him the chance of money”.
Mr FitzPatrick said that earlier in November 2006 he made a Stg£1 million investment in Woolgate for his own benefit but the value of that was now “zero”. He believed the loans taken out with Anglo for that investment were secured on the property but did not think the security covered the entire Stg£1.25 million investment.
Under repeated questioning by Kenneth Bredin, for the Official Assignee administering his bankruptcy, Mr FitzPatrick insisted references in some documents to the Stg£250,000 as a “loan” to Mr Redmond were genuine mistakes or errors. Both he and Mr Redmond had the same understanding of the arrangement, he said.
Mr FitzPatrick, with estimated debts of €150 million and assets of €47 million, was declared bankrupt in July 2010. He and Mr Redmond were today examined in detail about two London property investments - Woolgate and another in Victoria - organised by property company D2 Private as part of efforts to establish the extent of Mr FitzPatrick’s estate.
Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne heard the Stg£250,000 Anglo loan for the Woolgate investment has since been paid off by Anglo from sums totalling about €10 million taken by the bank from deposit accounts held with it by Mr Fitzpatrick and his wife.
Mr FitzPatrick told his counsel Bernard Dunleavy the €10 million was taken without any prior discussion with himself and his wife and they were also not consulted as to what debts would be paid off with it.
Earlier, he told Mr Bredin that in late 2006 he was Anglo’s non-executive chairman having stood down as chief executive in December 2004, after which he sold Anglo shares and had “a lot of cash” from which he made investments.