Former Anglo banker Tom Browne agrees to €30.3m judgment

One-time bank chief had challenged liquidators’ pursuit over soured property loans

A settlement has been reached in the High Court action against former Anglo Irish Bank executive Tom Browne over some €30 million in loans.

Under the settlement, Mr Browne has consented to judgment against him for €30.3 million.

The special liquidators to Anglo's successor, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), had sued him for default on a demand for repayment of the loans he got mainly as he was departing Anglo around September 2007.

A counterclaim by him against IBRC was also dismissed on consent under the settlement reached between the sides.


Separate 2017 proceedings by IBRC against Mr Browne and his wife Diane were also dismissed. In those, IBRC had sought to reverse alleged asset transfers, including in relation to the couple's home in Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin.

On Thursday, Mr Justice Brian O’Moore was asked by the parties for time for discussions and it was further adjourned to Friday.

On Friday, Paul Gardiner SC, for IBRC, said his side had just received the necessary signed document and he was now asking the proceedings and counterclaim to be dismissed along with entering judgment for €30.3 million.

Counsel asked for a stay on the execution of the agreement on terms agreed between the parties with liberty to have the stay lifted for the purpose of enforcing the settlement.

The judge said it was almost traditional to compliment parties when a settlement is reached. In this case, however, he had the benefit of hearing the opening, direct evidence and some cross-examination of Mr Browne and it was plain the fact of a compromise was advantageous to both parties.

For Mr Browne, it was putting this behind him, while the IBRC special liquidators, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson, had decided on a compromise for the best possible return for the nationalised bank "rather than see it to the bitter end".

He made the orders sought.

Mr Browne’s Anglo loans arose mainly as part of a renegotiation of his finances for a substantial portfolio of properties he had built up since 1987. He had at one stage 12 properties in prime residential locations in Dublin and a co-interest in two high-end commercial units in Galway.

One loan he got after leaving the bank, for some €28 million, was for an office building in Bishopsgate, London. Mr Browne argued all his property loans were performing loans, with the income from rents more than paying off interest due on them.

Calling in the loans

He also had loans for the purchase of shares in Anglo which at one point amounted to €1.6 million. In 2007, he had an estimated net worth of €60 million.

The bank started calling in the loans in 2010 and, when he failed to repay, subsequently issued proceedings for judgment against him for a figure that stood at that time at some €50 million. He opposed the move.

Those proceedings were put on hold for several years pending the criminal trials of certain other Anglo executives.

In his counterclaim, he argued the loans were void by reason of fraudulent misrepresentation through silence by Anglo about the involvement of the Seán Quinn Group in the ownership of the bank.

IBRC denied this and disputed his claim he was not aware of the Quinn position when he was leaving Anglo in 2007.