Profile: John McCabe

Developer dealt with Anglo from late 1980s and drew down about €500m in loans

John McCabe. Photograph: Courtpix

John McCabe. Photograph: Courtpix


John McCabe dealt with Anglo from the late 1980s and drew down about €500 million in loans from the bank over the years for developments in Ireland and the UK. These loans were typically at interest rates of between 1.5 and 3 per cent.

Mr McCabe told the court his main contact at Anglo was Pat Whelan, whom he knew for more than 15 years.

Asked by senior counsel Brendan Grehan, defending Mr Whelan, for his opinion of the banker, Mr McCabe said: “He was 100 per cent as far as I was concerned.”

The developer said Mr Whelan rang him in July 2008 and told him he had a proposition to make and was anxious to see him. The next day Mr McCabe met Mr Whelan and Anglo chief executive David Drumm at Anglo’s offices on Stephen’s Green in Dublin.

Mr Drumm told him a major investor controlled 25 per cent of Anglo’s shares and was only willing to redeem 15 per cent. He was told the bank was looking for four or five long-term clients to buy the remaining 10 per cent of the stock, and they wanted Mr McCabe to take a 1 per cent stake.

He was told the financial regulator, the Central Bank and the department of finance were aware of the deal. “I was told it was totally legal. The regulator was anxious to get this done,” he said.

“The bank were very good to me over the years and to my business and I was anxious to help . . . I wanted to co-operate with the bank, who I intended to continue doing business with,” he said.