Former Anglo finance chief Willie McAteer expelled from accounting body

Membership of Chartered Accountants Ireland revoked and payment of €15,000 towards tribunal costs agreed

Former Anglo Irish Bank finance director Willie McAteer.

Former Anglo Irish Bank finance director Willie McAteer.

 

Former Anglo Irish Bank finance director Willie McAteer has had his membership of Chartered Accountants Ireland revoked and agreed to pay €15,000 plus VAT towards the cost of a disciplinary tribunal into his actions around transactions involving the bank in late 2008.

This was the outcome of a disciplinary hearing on Friday by the professional body for accountants, and followed a special investigation conducted for the institute by John Purcell a decade ago.

McAteer, who was not present at the disciplinary hearing, consented to having his membership revoked. He has also undertaken not to make any future application for reinstatement with the body.

McAteer was investigated in relation to transactions between Anglo and Irish Life & Permanent in September 2008, and for a failure to make “appropriate disclosure” of a loan by Anglo to him around the same time.

Mr Purcell’s report in 2010 found he had “engaged in conduct which he was aware, or ought to have been aware, was inappropriate such as to bring discredit to himself, and the profession of accountancy”.

McAteer (68), was convicted of fraud in two separate criminal cases in 2016 and 2017, and sentenced to a 3½-year prison term.

Position

The accountancy body noted representations made regarding McAteer’s financial position, and accepted his offer of a contribution to costs of €15,000 plus VAT. “Had the matter proceeded to a full hearing, costs would have been significantly in excess of this amount,” it added.

Chartered Accountants Ireland could have imposed a fine of up to €30,000 on McAteer but chose not to hit him with such a sanction.

He is the third former Anglo executive to have his membership of Chartered Accountants Ireland cancelled.

In December 2019, former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick had his membership of the body revoked and was ordered to pay a fine of €25,000 after a tribunal found he made a series of failures in concealing loans between Anglo and Irish Nationwide Building Society.

Anglo’s former chief executive David Drumm had previously been fined €15,000 and expelled for bringing discredit on himself and his profession. Drumm is serving a six-year prison term for conspiracy to defraud.

Disciplinary proceedings against former Anglo executives who were members of the accountancy body were initiated in 2009 but were suspended two years later at the request of the Director of Public Prosecutions until the conclusion of certain State prosecutions relating to Anglo. The suspension was lifted in mid-2018 following conclusion of the criminal cases.

Two more Anglo-related cases remain to be heard by Chartered Accountants Ireland’s conduct committee. These relate to Peter Fitzpatrick, a former executive with Irish Life & Permanent, and against Anglo’s former auditor, EY.