Anglo verdict: Profiles of the three bankers

Denis Casey, Willie McAteer and John Bowe were prominent in financial sector

Denis Casey

Dubliner Denis Casey qualified as a certified accountant and began his career with Allied Irish Banks. He joined Irish Life in 1980, working his way up the ranks. He was appointed to the board in 2000.

In May 2007, Casey succeeded David Went as group chief executive of Irish Life & Permanent, which was then a large listed company and one of the biggest financial players in Ireland.

Casey resigned from the board of IL&P on February 28th 2009 following the revelation of the company’s controversial €7.2 billion circular transaction designed to bolster Anglo Irish Bank’s balance sheet. His employment with the company ceased on May 14th that year.


The company’s annual report for the year shows that he received total remuneration of €4.57 million in 2009, up from €942,000 in the previous 12 months. This included a payment of €1.25 million in lieu of service in accordance with his “contractual entitlements” and €2.93 million relating to his pension.

After leaving IL&P, Casey qualified as a barrister and is listed in the law library as a junior counsel with the following specialisations: banking, finance and securities, bankruptcy/insolvency/reorganisations, company law, insurance law, pensions law and tax law.

Casey, who is 56 and lives in Raheny, Dublin, was also a former chairman of Financial Services Ireland, and a past president of the Insurance Institute of Ireland.

Willie McAteer

McAteer was the last of the four to be charged in connection with this case. He grew up in Co Donegal and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1975. He was a partner with accounting firm PwC before becoming managing director of Paul Coulson's Yeoman International Leasing, a venture capital firm.

McAteer was later offered a job by Seán FitzPatrick, then chief executive of up-and-coming Anglo Irish Bank. He led a four-strong team when he started in 1992 when its profits were under €13 million.

As finance director, McAteer was there for a 15-year stretch of continuous growth and expansion as Anglo became Ireland’s third-biggest bank, with operations in North America, the UK and eastern Europe.

As group finance director and chief risk officer, McAteer was one of the most senior executives at Anglo at the time of the crash in late 2008. In 2014,McAteer was one of two former Anglo executives convicted of making loans to illegally prop up the bank’s share price. He was ordered to complete community service, in lieu of prison.

In the middle of last year, McAteer was granted free legal aid for two criminal trials connected with his time at Anglo. During the hearing to decide this matter, McAteer’s counsel revealed that his client had an annuity on his €1.5 million pension of €90,000 per year, but that his wife is entitled to half of the overall amount.

McAteer is 65 and lives in Greenrath, Tipperary.

John Bowe

A low-profile executive of Anglo Irish Bank before the financial crash, John Bowe came to prominence in 2013 through the release of the so-called Anglo Tapes.

These detailed a number of colourful conversations between senior executives before the bank’s collapse in 2008 and subsequent nationalisation.

The jury heard a number of phone calls which involved Mr Bowe and his then chief executive David Drumm. On September 30th, Seán FitzPatrick, then chairman of Anglo, telephoned Bowe to congratulate him on his efforts on a day when the bank had experienced record inflows of cash in the wake of the guarantee.

Bowe joined Anglo in 2001 and held a number of senior treasury positions, including head of wholesale funding, before being promoted to head of capital markets in 2008, in charge of wholesale funding.

Bowe was later elevated to director of corporate development and was involved in Anglo’s efforts to collect debts owed by the family of Seán Quinn, once Ireland’s richest man.

Since leaving the bank in March 2012, Bowe is reported to have founded his own consultancy firm, working with accountancy practices on client engagements in the leisure and healthcare sectors.

Bowe was one of the Anglo executives to transition to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, which was formed by the State through the merger of parts of Anglo and parts of the former Irish Nationwide building society.

Bowe is 52 and lives with his family in Glasnevin, Dublin.