IBRC given seven months to produce 'statement of affairs'
FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has intervened directly to give former IBRC/Anglo Irish Bank directors, including Mike Aynsley and Alan Dukes, months of extra time to prepare a formal "statement of affairs" setting out the financial position of the bank when it went into liquidation, the Irish Independent has learned.
The minister granted the former directors an extraordinary seven-month extension to the standard 21-day period set down in law, during which a statement of affairs setting out a company's assets and debts at the time of liquidation must be drawn up and made available to anyone at risk of losing money.
News of the extension only emerged after Dublin hotelier Johnny Moran went to court earlier this month seeking access to a statement of affairs for Irish Bank Resolution Corp (IBRC) as part of a legal dispute with the bank, and after he served legal papers on former directors seeking to compel them to produce the information.
Following that action, solicitors acting for Mr Moran were contacted by lawyers acting for a number of the directors and provided with a copy of a letter from Mr Noonan confirming that he has given the directors until September 30 to file their statement of affairs.
The Minister's letter is dated July 19 and does not state whether the extension was given within the original 21-day period.
A spokesman for the minister said the additional time granted to the directors reflects the size and complexity of the liquidation.
Without the statement of affairs, creditors and others like Mr Moran potentially affected by the liquidation of IBRC have been left in the dark about their position, including the prospects of recovering cash at the end of the liquidation.
In normal circumstances only the courts have the authority to interfere with company law by granting such an extension, but in the case of IBRC that power was extended to the minister under the emergency legislation, which was rushed through the Dail last February.
Former IBRC chief executive Mike Aynsley told the Sunday Independent this week that the bank was "solvent" days before Mr Noonan placed it into special liquidation under the control of accountants Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson in February – meaning in his view its assets were enough to cover all debts.
However, the former bank is now regarded as insolvent and unlikely to cover its debts once all of its assets are sold off.
The letter sent by Mr Noonan to the 10 former directors confirms their obligation to prepare a statement of affairs.
However, it goes on to state that it was not possible to prepare the document within the normal time allowed.
"I hereby acknowledge that; having regard to the complexity of the affairs of IBRC, it has not been feasible for the directors to prepare and submit the statement of affairs to me within the timeframe required," the minister wrote.