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Anglo boss apologises as loans position clarified

THE FULL amount of loans made to directors in the controversial Anglo Irish Bank scandal is now €179m.

The news was announced today at an egm of the bank, held at the Mansion House in Dublin, by chairman Donal O’Connor.

The egm heard that former chairman Mr Fitzpatrick’s loans amounted to €84m in total and were used for investments which included shares at the bank, property investments, film finance and pension.

Mr Fitzpatrick resigned from the bank before Christmas after it was revealed that he had moved the loans in and out of the bank’s accounts to ‘hide’ them.

This morning the newly-appointed chairman of Anglo Irish Bank apologised to shareholders for the recent loan scandal at the bank.

Donal O'Connor, who recently replaced Sean Fitzpatrick in the job, told the egm in Dublin that the manner in which Mr Fitzpatrick took out secret personal loans was wrong.

When Mr O’Connor tried to defend his board colleagues he was shouted at by some angry members of the audience.

Mr O'Connor promised shareholders at the meeting that a similar situation would not be allowed to happen again at the bank.

But at the same meeting, Senator Shane Ross questioned the role of the auditors and said the chairman of the auditing committee should be asked to explain how they had “missed” the loans in question. “Why should shareholders not be given details of how bad things were?” he asked.

And he added that the financial regulator had said the bank was “sound” when it wasn’t.

There were angry scenes at the egm as shareholders vented their frustration at the handling of the issue and the nationalisation move.

Trading in the bank’s shares was suspended on the Dublin stock exchange today as a result of the government’s decision to take over the bank.

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