Regulator official says he believed investors were paying for Anglo shares themselves

Con Horan, formerly of the Financial Regulator’s office, gives evidence

Con Horan, former prudential director at the Financial Regulator’s office leaves the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin. Photograph: PA

Con Horan, former prudential director at the Financial Regulator’s office leaves the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin. Photograph: PA

Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 01:22

A former senior official at the Financial Regulator’s office has said he believed wealthy investors were going to pay for Anglo Irish Bank shares from their own funds as part of a share-buying scheme.

Con Horan, former prudential director at the office, yesterday told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court he raised no objections to the outline of a plan to unwind businessman Seán Quinn’s large contract for difference (CFD) stake in Anglo, by selling the shares to members of the Quinn family and a number of investors.

Mr Quinn’s large bet on Anglo through CFDs – investment products based on share price – was felt to be destabilising the bank.

Giving evidence at the trial of former Anglo directors, Mr Horan said he was told of the plan in a call from Anglo chief David Drumm on July 9th, 2008. He said Mr Drumm told him the bank might provide short-term lending where investors had a cash flow issue. “These were high-net worth individuals . . . ,” he said.

Mr Horan told defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC he only became aware of the extent of the Quinn CFD position when it was 28-29 per cent: “It was a very, very serious situation.” Mr Grehan said Mr Horan’s account had gained a “lot of detail” since a statement to gardaí in 2009.