Profile: Seán Fitzpatrick
FORMER CHAIRMAN and chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank Seán FitzPatrick has now been arrested three times in connection with his activities at the bank.
FitzPatrick, who resigned from his post in 2008, was arrested in March 2010 and in December 2011 as part of Garda investigations into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the bank.
With up to 80 per cent of its loans in property investment and construction, Anglo was massively exposed to the sector at the time of the 2007 property crash.
FitzPatrick built the bank up from a net worth of €5 million in 1985 to €13.3 billion at its peak in mid-2007, only to see it drop €13 billion in value in the months before his resignation.
He became chief executive of the bank in 1986. His appointment as non-executive chairman – when he was replaced as chief executive by David Drumm at the end of 2004 – was criticised as being counter to best practice guidelines on corporate governance.
He resigned from the bank in December 2008, when details of secret loans of €87 million taken out with the bank came to light. The loans had been transferred to Irish Nationwide Building Society before the banks filed their end-of-year reports, only to be transferred back shortly afterwards.
FitzPatrick attracted controversy before his resignation when he was a guest on Marian Finucane’s RTÉ Radio 1 programme the Saturday after the government announced the €440 billion bank guarantee.
While the former Anglo boss thanked taxpayers for the exposure assumed by the State for the country’s banks, he refused to apologise for the crisis, claiming that Irish banks were themselves victims of the global credit crunch.