Business

Friday 24 March 2017

Regulator set to face spotlight as guilty bankers to be sentenced

The role of the Financial Regulator is expected to fall centre stage at the sentence hearing tomorrow of three bankers convicted of conspiracy to defraud (Stock picture)
The role of the Financial Regulator is expected to fall centre stage at the sentence hearing tomorrow of three bankers convicted of conspiracy to defraud (Stock picture)
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The role of the Financial Regulator is expected to fall centre stage at the sentence hearing tomorrow of three bankers convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

In an early-stage ruling at the trial of John Bowe, Willie McAteer and Denis Casey, Judge Martin Nolan said the actions of the regulator could not provide a defence.

However the Circuit Criminal Court judge said the attitude of the authorities could provide mitigation at sentence.

Bowe, the former head of capital markets at Anglo-Irish Bank, McAteer, Anglo's former finance director, and former Irish Life & Permanent (ILP) chief executive Casey were convicted after the longest criminal trial in the history of the State. Former ILP Peter Fitzpatrick was acquitted.

The prosecution argued that the men were involved in setting up a scheme of circular transactions where Anglo lent money to ILP and ILP sent the money back, via their assurance firm Irish Life Assurance.

Because the deposits came from the assurance company they were treated as customer deposits - considered a better measure of a bank's strength than inter-bank loans.

A sum of €7.2bn was later accounted for as customer deposits in Anglo results in December 2008.

Counsel for McAteer told the trial that the regulator had been made aware of the deal "in bare detail" in October 2008, weeks before the customer-deposits figure appeared in Anglo's results.

He said the level of disclosure to the regulator was not consistent with dishonesty.

The trial also heard that Casey had told gardai that he had authorised the placement of billions with Anglo because of his understanding of a request from the regulator for Irish banks to support each other.

Sunday Indo Business

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