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Sunday 26 March 2017

Former Anglo executive fights bank's claim for €50m unpaid loans

Tim Healy

A FORMER head of Anglo Irish Bank's Irish lending division is fighting the bank's claim against him over unpaid loans of €50m.

Tom Browne claims negligence by Anglo's management and board and state bodies -- after he left it in late 2007 -- led to the bank's nationalisation, the collapse of its share price and his inability to repay the loans.

Mr Browne says the Commercial Court "should accept that the demise of Anglo in 2008 was separate from events in 2007", Paul Gardiner, for Anglo, told Mr Justice Peter Kelly.

In letters to Anglo management last January, Mr Browne claimed the bank and state bodies had issued "grossly negligent and misleading public statements and pronouncements" between late 2007 and early 2009 and withheld information.

He says the effect was to create the misleading impression that the capital position of the bank was strong and it was a viable entity when the contrary was the case.

In a letter to Mr Browne last January, Anglo CEO Mike Aynsley said it was "noteworthy", that Mr Browne, in his role as managing director Ireland up to his retirement in October 2007, had "primary responsibility" for the bank's lending in Ireland "which has given rise to most of the bank's losses".

Yesterday, Mr Justice Kelly directed Mr Browne, of Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin, to file an affidavit outlining the matters raised by him; and directed the bank to file a reply.

The court will decide at a hearing next month whether the bank was entitled to an order for the €50m sum.

Mr Justice Kelly noted that Mr Browne, in a letter to Mr Aynsley, had acknowledged he borrowed various sums from the bank and did not deny liability but went on to outline various matters, which appeared to amount more to a counter-claim than a defence.

Irish Independent

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