Tens of thousands of files under scrutiny by individuals and inquiries

Taped conversations form part of evidence collected by range of parties

Former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Seán FitzPatrick: proceedings against him may not take place until next year

Former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Seán FitzPatrick: proceedings against him may not take place until next year

Tue, Jun 25, 2013, 01:00


The debacle that was Anglo Irish Bank has cost the State and its citizens tens of billions of euros and the fallout from its collapse has spawned a plethera of inquiries, calls for inquiriesand court proceedings.

As a result, a number of bodies and parties have had access to tens of thousands of internal bank documents, as well as to tapes of conversations conducted over certain of the bank’s phone lines.

Two investigations into possible criminal acts have led to extensive files and other materials being handed over by the bank, or being taken from the bank, while discovery orders issued to civil litigants have likewise led to huge amounts of material being handed over.

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement is conducting an enormous inquiry into the so-called Maple Ten transaction, where the bank issued loans to support the purchase of Anglo shares linked with an investment in Anglo by Seán Quinn. It is also investigating other bank transactions. The Garda Fraud Bureau is investigating certain back-to-back deposits the bank had with Irish Life and Permanent in 2008.

Both these investigating bodies are in possession of huge amounts of material seized as part of their inquiries, including, it is believed, copies of taped conversations that are relevant to their inquiries.

The bank is pursuing an ongoing action against the Quinn family over enormous debts it says the family owe the bank, while the family has counter- sued, saying debts of more than €2.3 billion being claimed by the bank are tainted with illegality as they were associated with an allegedly illegal plan to prop up the bank’s own share price.
Access to documents
As part of this latter action, the Quinn family has been given access to tens of thousands of bank documents and emails, as well as to taped conversations from the bank’s phone system. Some of these were quoted in a recent affidavit from Quinn’s daughter Aoife Quinn.

The quoted extracts include conversations involving John Bowe, the bank executive heard on the tapes published yesterday by the Irish Independent.

Bowe’s duties with the bank included dealing with the aftermath of the seizure of the Quinn Group by the bank, on foot of the debts owed to the bank which are now being disputed by the family.

Anglo was eventually nationalised and formed part of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, which also incorporated the former Irish Nationwide.

Legislation introduced in 2011 meant that any information that the IBRC had in its possession and which it believed indicated a possible criminal offence, had to be forwarded to the authorities.

The IBRC was liquidated earlier this year by the Government. Any assets that liquidator Kieran Wallace cannot sell over the coming months will be transferred to the National Asset Management Agency.
Dispute deferred
Aspects of the civil dispute between the Quinn family and Anglo have been deferred pending the hearing of criminal charges that have been brought against the former chairman of Anglo, Seán FitzPatrick, and two other former senior executives of the bank. Those proceedings might not take place until next year, and could lead to appeals.

Likewise, other charges could be brought that would lead to further delays.