Tuesday 6 December 2016

Flannery to quiz bank on mystery £250,000

Former Rehab chief pursues bank file over purchase of property in London

Published 10/04/2016 | 02:30

PUZZLED: Frank Flannery. Photo: Gerry Mooney
PUZZLED: Frank Flannery. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Former Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery has requested Bank of Ireland to provide him with the full file on his 1996 purchase of a house in London's Primrose Hill.

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Lawyers for Mr Flannery have sought the documents in an effort to unravel the mystery of how the mortgage on the house, which Mr Flannery and his wife bought for Stg£615,000 allegedly came to be secured by a Stg£250,000 deposit held by a third party in a bank account in Jersey.

Information in relation to the alleged loan security, provided by International Funding Promotions for Mr Flannery's acquisition of his former London home, emerged as part of the so-called 'Panama Papers'.

"I'm going to try and find out how on earth it (my house purchase) came to be associated with this and how it turns up in places like Panama and how it came to be associated with Jersey," Mr Flannery told the Sunday Independent.

The Panama Papers detail the offshore services provided by the law firm Mossack Fonseca to thousands of clients worldwide, allowing them to minimise their tax liabilities with absolute confidentiality.

While the mechanisms employed by the firm are perfectly legal, the fallout from the leak to the media on such an unprecedented scale of files relating to the financial affairs of many of the world's political and business elite has already seen the Icelandic prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson step aside for what his office has termed "an unspecified amount of time".

The British prime minister David Cameron has come under fire and calls for his resignation on foot of his admission that he benefited from an offshore fund set up by his late father, Ian.

Having his own name associated with the Panama Papers is, unsurprisingly, proving to be a cause of deep concern to Mr Flannery. He said: "The whole thing is too grave, far too serious and has crossed every kind of boundary. It's too profound a matter to be pussyfooting around with.

"I've now gone somewhere I've never gone before. I have a strong legal team in place and I'm taking this very, very seriously. That's the arena it's going into now.

"Obviously, the main parties involved will all be engaged with by me, the people in Panama, the people in Bank of Ireland and the people in the Irish Times."

Mr Flannery said he had never heard of International Funding Promotions, the company behind the Stg £250,000 deposit in Jersey which Bank of Ireland Private Banking had allegedly relied on for security when it gave him a mortgage.

He said he and his wife had taken out a 100pc mortgage on the house, which they later paid off with financing from another bank.

Mr Flannery sold the Primrose Hill house for Stg£2.8m in 2012.

Sunday Independent

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