At a glance: day nine of the Anglo trial

Witnesses assured regulator was aware

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Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 01:00

Witnesses
Dermot Kieran, former senior manager in group finance, Anglo Irish Bank.

Brian O’Farrell, property developer.

Michael Jacob, former non-executive director, Anglo Irish Bank.

Declan Quilligan, former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank’s UK operation.


Snapshots

Dermot Kieran told the court he was involved in the logistical and administration preparations for the Maple 10 transaction in July 2008.

At the time he drafted a list – shown to the court – of 18 tasks that needed to be completed. Under the heading “Legal Sign-off – reconfirm acting in concert issue”, the document stated: “verbal sign-off in place.” Mr Kieran said his understanding was that the bank had taken “full legal advice ”.

The court was shown an email sent by Matt Moran, then Anglo’s chief financial officer, on July 9th, 2008. Its subject line read: “Project Maple – Reg conversation done and went fine.”

Asked by Úna Ní Raifear- taigh SC, prosecuting, on whose instruction his superiors were operating, Mr Kieran responded: “I understand they were operating on the instructions of the CEO and the board.”

Brian O’Farrell, one of the Maple 10 investors who borrowed money to buy Anglo shares in July 2008, said he agreed to go ahead after being told he would be “a friend to the bank”.

He said he was told that the financial regulator, the Central Bank and the Department of Finance were aware of the transaction.

Mr O’Farrell said former chief executive of Anglo David Drumm told him if the hole in the bank was not plugged immediately, “Anglo would be gone in a week” and would drag down AIB and Bank of Ireland.

Michael Jacob, the first Anglo non-executive director to give evidence at the trial, said that at the time the Maple 10 transaction took place in July 2008, he was not aware that funding for the purchases would be provided by the bank.

He said he became aware of that in August or September 2008.

Mr Jacob said he was told that legal advice had been obtained, but said he did not see a written legal opinion about the transaction.

Brendan Grehan SC, for Mr Whelan, asked Mr Jacob if there were concerns about a run on Anglo in March 2008, when American bank Bear Stearns collapsed and the Anglo share price fell dramatically.

“There were concerns that could happen under some circumstances,” Mr Jacob replied.

Mr Jacob described businessman Seán Quinn as “a loose cannon” who was “uncontrollable” and whose “loyalty was to the gamble rather than to the share”.

He agreed with Mr Grehan that from September 2007 until July 2008, Mr Quinn’s contracts for difference were “the single biggest problem facing the bank”.

In a statement he gave to gardaí, Mr Jacob said he was “reassured” that the financial regulator was aware of the transaction and that it appeared to him that there was “unity of purpose” between the bank and the regulator.
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