Regulator ‘seemed to resile’ from knowledge of Anglo deal

Financial regulator was ‘fully informed’ of deal, Moran tells trial

Witness Matt Moran, Anglo Irish Bank’s former chief financial officer,  leaving court on Wednesday. Photograph: Courtpix

Witness Matt Moran, Anglo Irish Bank’s former chief financial officer, leaving court on Wednesday. Photograph: Courtpix

Thu, Feb 20, 2014, 06:43

The financial regulator’s office “seemed to resile” from its involvement in the so-called Maple share-buying deal a month after the transactions took place in 2008, a former Anglo Irish Bank executive has said.

Matt Moran, the bank’s former chief financial officer, told the trial of three former Anglo directors that the regulator was “fully informed” of the deal to lend to 10 individuals so they could each buy 1 per cent of the bank’s shares. The transactions took place in mid-July 2008 amid concerns that businessman Seán Quinn’s large bet on Anglo shares through contracts for difference – investments based on share price – was destabilising the bank.

The court was shown a letter to Anglo director Willie McAteer on August 11th, 2008, from Mary Burke, who was head of banking supervision at the regulator’s office. In it she wrote: “I would point out that the Financial Regulator did not advise as to whether the transactions required approval nor was it in a position to do so given the information available to it.” Mr Moran said he believed the regulator “seemed to resile” from its position of “knowledge and involvement with the transaction”.

Mr Moran also told the court that after the transactions, then Anglo chairman Seán FitzPatrick told him he “regretted” not becoming “more personally involved” in the recourse of the Maple 10 loans.

Mr FitzPatrick “also questioned” if 25 per cent recourse for the loans “was enough”.