Statement issued on behalf of Sean Fitzpatrick
Below is the full text of a statement issued on behalf of Sean Fitzpatrick:
Sean FitzPatrick, Chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, today [18th December 2008] advised the Board of the Bank of his decision to resign, with immediate effect. The Board accepted his resignation with great regret. Mr. Donal O’Connor has been appointed Chairman in succession to Mr FitzPatrick.
Announcing his decision, Mr. FitzPatrick said: “I have made my decision in the best interests of the Bank and all its stakeholders. From the beginning, Anglo Irish Bank was based on a set of beliefs which were pro-business and we achieved great success allowing many new businesses and entrepreneurs realise their potential in Ireland and later overseas. I remain committed to those ideals of access and speed of delivery based on the strength of relationships that should underpin successful banking practice.
My decision to tender my resignation has been prompted by the fact that at the 30th September, 2008, I had fully secured loans, on normal commercial terms, with the Bank totalling €87 million which will be included in the annual report for 2008 in the note relating to Directors’ Loans. This balance is substantially higher than in the 2007 report because in prior years I had temporarily transferred my loans to another bank before each year end. I had done this on my own initiative over an eight year period.
The transfer of the loans between banks did not in any way breach banking or legal regulations. However it is clear to me, on reflection, that it was inappropriate and unacceptable from a transparency point of view.
One of the loans was a joint loan with Lar Bradshaw and I would like to emphasise that he had no knowledge of the temporary transfer of this loan.
I am fully responsible for my own decisions and actions and I regret that I had adopted this approach. I have always pursued high standards in my personal and professional life and I failed to meet those standards in this instance.
It is absolutely essential that the Chairman of the Board should be unencumbered by any issues which could prevent him from playing a leadership role at the Bank, given the current international financial environment.
I have spent the last 33 years working hard to build a successful, respected bank. I reached this decision of my own volition and without pressure from any quarter. I have done so because my remaining ambition for Anglo is that it would continue to progress with determination.
The Bank will benefit greatly from the leadership of Donal O’Connor who succeeds me and I wish him well. I have also decided to resign from my non-executive roles in Smurfit Kappa Group, Greencore Group, Aer Lingus, Experian and Gartmore Irish Growth Fund plc with immediate effect.
To say that I owe a debt of gratitude to colleagues past and present and to clients and friends of Anglo would represent the greatest understatement of my business career. They all know what their commitment and loyalty to the Bank has meant to me and I thank them for it.”