Anglo Trial at a glance
Whelan report said some decisions ‘unwise’
Former Anglo director Patrick Whelan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday. Photograph: Collins Courts.
Det Sgt Brian Mahon, Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.
Garda Emer O’Connor, Bureau of Fraud Investigation.
Two Garda witnesses told the court they took statements from two of the accused, Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer, on a number of dates in 2010. The statements were made by arrangement and their contents were read to the jury yesterday.
In an internal Anglo report prepared by Mr Whelan in late 2008 and early 2009, which was also read in court, the bank’s then head of lending for Ireland wrote that some of the decisions taken by Anglo in 2008 were “unwise” in hindsight, but were done at a time when it seemed to be “under attack from all fronts.”
In the report, Review of Quinn Group and Related Transactions , Mr Whelan said he and then chief executive David Drumm felt very strongly that they had asked clients, known as the Maple 10, to support the bank at a very difficult time and “their support for the bank had put them at risk ”.
The initial loan facility letters to the Maple 10 – property developers who bought a total of 9.4 per cent of the bank’s shares in July 2008 as part of a deal to unwind the 29 per cent stake in the bank of businessman Se án Quinn – included recourse terms of 25 per cent.
In late 2008, however, new loan facility letters were drawn up which effectively meant there would be no personal recourse.
“Having discussed the matter with David, he agreed that the bank had a duty to protect these clients and it was agreed that the clients needed some form of bargaining position to allow them buy time in repaying,” Mr Whelan said in his report.
Mr Whelan’s report said Mr Drumm told him to prepare the new loan facility letters with the reduced terms. These letters were to be kept on file for the clients and not sent out, but they were posted “due to a clerical error” to six of the clients. They were returned signed and only one of the clients noticed the change. “On reflection, the concept of these protection letters was an error of judgment and they should not have been issued,” Mr Whelan said in his report.
Mr Whelan said he believed all decisions were made “in the best interests of the bank, our shareholders, depositors and our clients in a period which felt like we were under attack on all fronts”.