The Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield appeared to be standing behind key staff within his organisation last night after suggestions that some of them 'signed off' on loans between Anglo Irish Bank and the Quinn Group.
Asked about the involvement of Con Horan, currently special advisor to Mr Elderfield, in relation to loans provided to the Quinn Group in 2008, the organisation said that Mr Horan remains deputy chairman of the Central Bank's supervisory risk committee and provides advice to Mr Elderfield on supervisory matters.
It is understood that the regulator strongly rejects claims that a one-page letter sent in July 2008 effectively involved 'signing off' on a €169m loan from Anglo to the Quinn Group. The regulator asked Anglo to put aside capital against the loan in question and the bank was effectively being penalised for having the loan.
The loan had already been advanced and the bank needed to adjust its capital accordingly to reflect the risks involved and for solvency purposes, sources pointed out.
The Financial Regulator said it could not make public statements on the issue due to an ongoing garda investigation.
Criminal defence lawyers have told the Irish Independent that it would be "almost impossible" to prove criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt in any white-collar crime trial resulting from the various investigations into Ireland's banks in circumstances where a regulator or senior state officials gave express or implied approval to a transaction or series of transactions.