Anglo official confronted Whelan over Maple 10 deal, trial hears

Niall Tuite tells jury he previously thought bank’s board was aware of investor deal

 Witness Niall Tuite at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today for the continuing Anglo trial. Photograph: Collins Courts

Witness Niall Tuite at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today for the continuing Anglo trial. Photograph: Collins Courts

Fri, Feb 14, 2014, 12:19

A former Anglo Irish Bank official has told the trial of former executives at the defunct bank that when he discovered the Maple 10 investor deal did not have proper credit approval, he confronted Pat Whelan about it, who said he would sort out the matter.

Niall Tuite, who was head of credit risk for Ireland and the UK at Anglo in 2008, has already told the jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court he had previously been under the belief that Anglo’s board was aware of the Maple 10 deal.

Still being cross-examined this morning after he gave evidence yesterday, he had said he was also told the deal had the approval of the bank’s legal team and of the Financial Regulator.

However, he told the prosecution that Anglo’s credit committee never met to approve the Maple 10 loans.

He confirmed “the apparent” credit committee approval was signed by him on July 14th, 2008.

Prosecuting counsel Paul O’Higgins SC put it to the witness that the loan agreements with the Maple 10 were signed before this - on July 10th, 11th and 12th, 2008.

Counsel asked Mr Tuite if loan agreements were ever signed with clients before approval by the credit committee. Mr Tuite said he was not aware of this ever happening.

A fifth member of the Maple 10 investors, John McCabe, is due to give evidence today - day eight of the trial - along with several other former Anglo employees.

The trial has already heard from Maple 10 investors Sean Reilly, Joe O’Reilly, Gerard Gannon and Gerard Maguire.

Seán FitzPatrick (65) of Greystones, Co Wicklow; Willie McAteer (63) of Rathgar, Dublin; and Pat Whelan (51) of Malahide, Dublin, have been charged with 16 counts of providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals in July 2008 to buy shares in the bank, contrary to section 60 of the Companies Act.

Mr Whelan has also been charged with being privy to the fraudulent alteration of loan facility letters to seven individuals. All three men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial continues.