Former Anglo company secretary 'couldn't recall asking subordinate if he would be willing to delete account from Revenue list' - court hears
Published 20/07/2015 | 18:05
Former Anglo Irish Bank company secretary Bernard Daly told gardaí he couldn't recall asking a subordinate if he would be willing to delete a bank account from a list being provided to Revenue.
Day 22 of the trial of three former Anglo officials heard that Mr Daly was head of banking supervision in the Central Bank before joining Anglo. He told gardaí he was appointed to deal with the Revenue audit because of his “public service background.”
Mr Daly also said that he was not aware that an account belonging to the brother-in-law of former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick was left off a list of non-residents accounts which was handed over to Revenue
Mr Daly (67) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin, former Chief Operations Officer Tiarnan O'Mahoney (56) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow and former assistant manager Aoife Maguire (62) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin have pleaded not guilty to seven counts at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
It is alleged that they hid or omitted accounts, connected to Mr FitzPatrick from Anglo's Core Banking System (CBS) or from documentation provided to Revenue between 2003 and 2004.
Detective Sergeant Daniel McGinty told prosecuting counsel Dominic McGinn SC that he interviewed Mr Daly at Ballymun Garda Station in October 2013.
Mr Daly told gardaí he was head of banking supervision in the Central Bank before starting with Anglo in 1993 where he rose to director of treasury before becoming company secretary in 2003.
Asked about his dealings with Anglo's former chief operations officer, Mr O'Mahoney, Mr Daly said he was a bully who he had “a colourful relationship” with. “I had to sort him out once and I did,” Mr Daly told gardaí before describing how he told the COO to “F off” once during a row.
He said that after this incident he had a fine relationship with Mr O'Mahoney. “He was always having a go at people throughout the bank, but he didn’t with me after that,” Mr Daly said.
He said Mr O'Mahoney had a “close enough” relationship with Ms Maguire but that the bank's head of compliance, Brian Gillespie, was “terrified” of him. “He would not be of great mental toughness,” Mr Daly said of Mr Gillespie.
Mr Daly told gardaí that Revenue were carrying out an investigation into bogus non-resident accounts which were liable for Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT). He said Revenue decided it was not worth investigating Anglo at the time but that people later came forward under a tax amnesty saying that they held bogus non-resident accounts with the bank.
He said Revenue felt under pressure and decided to audit Anglo in 2003. He said Anglo was very concerned about this because it was “riding the crest of a wave at the time and it was a reputational issue.”
He said because of his age, experience and public service background, he was chosen to liaise with Revenue during the audit.
Mr Daly said he recalled that Revenue weren't interested in individual bogus accounts and that they were more interested in “getting a cheque” from the bank.
He said he headed up a team which would assess sample accounts for Revenue. Revenue would then calculate the bank's total liability by extrapolating from the samples.
He said Anglo was paranoid about the audit and that the attitude was “if they wanted a cheque, give them a cheque.” He said the Revenue accepted the eventual settlement of €2.9 million with “no publicity.”
Mr Daly said Ms Maguire was not on the team dealing with Revenue. When gardaí showed him an email from Ms Maguire which appeared to contradict this, Mr Daly said he couldn't recall her being on the team and that he had no comment on the email.
He said Mr O'Mahoney never discussed leaving the name John Peter O'Toole out of a list of non-resident accounts which was being given to Revenue. He said that he was aware that Mr O'Toole was Mr FitzPatrick's brother-in-law, as “Sean used to speak about his family.”
Gardaí asked Mr Daly if he ever asked Mr Gillespie if he would delete an account if requested to by Mr FitzPatrick. The accused said he had no memory of this and that it was something that would have stuck in his mind if it happened.
Asked if he had any discussions with Mr FitzPatrick about the audit, Mr Daly replied that any discussions would have been about the reputational damage and the size of the cheque being given to Revenue.
Gardaí put it to Mr Daly that the O'Toole account contained nearly Ir£140,000 in 1995 and therefore came under the remit of the audit. Investigators put it to him that it did not appear on the list handed over to Revenue.
“If something was missing, I wouldn’t have spotted it,” Mr Daly replied. “I have nothing to say. I can see it is missing and not there.”
He said that he wasn't asked by anyone to leave a name off the list but that he wasn't the one who compiled the list.
Gardaí asked Mr Daly if it concerned him that a false return was submitted to Revenue. The accused replied that it did and that “there is an obvious conspiracy in the background wider than O’Toole's accounts.”
The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of six men and six women.