Sunday 18 February 2018

Anglo's ex-lending chief in 'loan for shares' file request

Aoife Finneran

Anglo Irish's former head of lending is seeking orders requiring the bank to produce documents concerning loans made by it in 2007 and 2008 to businessman Sean Quinn to support its share price.

Thomas Browne, of Ferney Hill, Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin, is seeking the documents for his defence to the bank's claim for €50m judgment orders against him over unpaid loans.

However, counsel for the bank, Paul Gardiner, said Mr Browne had all relevant documents and was "fishing" at the bank's expense because he knows he cannot prove his case.

The bank has also said that in his capacity as managing director of lending with Anglo between early 2005 to 2007, Mr Browne was aware of various loans made to Mr Quinn.

Mr Browne had led an Anglo delegation on a three-day "intensive tour and inspection of Quinn company developments and intended developments" in Russia, the Ukraine and Turkey in July 2007, the bank said. Mr Browne, Michael O'Sullivan and Lorcan McCluskey represented Anglo; while Sean Quinn Snr, Sean Quinn Jnr and Dara O'Reilly attended on behalf of the Quinn companies, it added.

Mr Browne's application for orders for "further and better discovery" of documents began yesterday before Mr Justice George Birmingham and continues today.

Mr Browne says he has no liability to Anglo for some €50m, claiming that the bank was guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation in allegedly failing to inform him of matters relating to the purchase of 28pc of its shares by Mr Quinn. He claims that when Anglo advanced millions of euro to him in late 2007 to buy its shares, it and various state authorities knew -- but failed to tell him -- it had loaned substantial sums to Mr Quinn in November 2007 to support and fund Mr Quinn's liabilities incurred to fund the purchase of shares in Anglo itself.

Mr Browne claims that if these matters were known on the financial markets, they would have had "a devastating effect" on Anglo's stability and share price.

Had he known of them, he would never have exercised his share options in late November 2007 or held on to shares that later became "worthless".

Anglo has contended nothing in Mr Browne's claims amounts to a defence to the bank's claim for judgment for separate sums of £31.6m (€36.9m) and £1.91m (€2.23m), €11.6m and $765,976 (€565,310) arising from various loans to Mr Browne.

Irish Independent

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