Ex-Anglo lender in court over loans


A FORMER head of Anglo Irish Bank’s Irish lending division is seeking to defend the bank’s claim against him over unpaid loans of €50 million on grounds that negligence by Anglo’s management and board and State bodies led to the bank’s nationalisation, collapse of its share price and his inability to repay the loans.

The defence sought to be raised by Tom Browne suggests the Commercial Court “should accept the demise of Anglo in 2008 was separate from events in 2007”, Paul Gardiner SC, for Anglo, told Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday.

In letters to Anglo management last January, Mr Browne claimed the bank and State bodies had between late 2007 and early 2009 issued “grossly negligent and misleading public statements and pronouncements”, and withheld information with the effect of creating the misleading impression the capital position of the bank was strong when the contrary was the case. This induced him, and many other shareholders, to hold on to their shares, he said.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Kelly directed that Mr Browne, Ferney Hill, Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin, should file an affidavit outlining the matters raised, the bank should file a reply, and the court would rule next month whether the bank was entitled to summary judgment for the €50 million sum.