Alan Dukes, former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, has said the bank never gave preferential treatment to any politically exposed bank borrower.
“Borrowers or investors on any such list were treated in the same way as any other bank customer,” he said. “Any suggestion to the contrary is entirely without foundation.”
This list at first related only to Anglo but was extended to include mortgage holders with Irish Nationwide after IBRC merged with the building society in 2011.
“The relationship framework between Anglo/IBRC and the Minister for Finance provided for notification to the Minister of matters of potential public interest. Very few such cases actually arose,” Mr Dukes said. “In no case was there any discussion of preferential treatment of any kind.
"There was never a case where the Minister or the department asked us to move faster or to desist from taking any action in relation to any person on the list," he added.
“It was entirely unethical to disclose such lists to any media outlet,” said Mr Dukes.
IBRC created the lists of politically exposed or high-profile persons to ensure there could be no suggestion that any credit decision in relation to somebody well-known or influential had been granted preferentially, explained Mr Dukes
The board of IBRC was updated on politically exposed persons at every board meeting and the Minister was notified of any decision that had a public interest dimension.
The Irish Times understands IBRC's decision to take over the businesses of former billionaire Sean Quinn is an example of where the bank updated the Minister before taking action.
Decisions made by IBRC in a bid to reach a debt settlement with its former chief executive David Drumm is another case where the Minister was informed about the bank's thinking as it developed.
Most of those named on IBRC’s various lists are already known. They include businesspeople such as Denis O’Brien, the telecoms entrepreneur and largest shareholder in Independent News & Media, former rugby players such as Ronan O’Gara, lawyers including Brian O’Donnell and developers, such as Tom McFeely, the bankrupt builder of Priory Hall.