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IBRC wants retired executive to repay €6m

THE retired chief executive of the former Anglo Irish Bank operation in the UK is being pursued for the repayment of most of his 2005 retirement package worth around €6m.

Anglo's successor, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), now in special liquidation, wants John Rowan to repay the money, claiming the payment was not approved at a general meeting as required by law.

The package was agreed in 2005 between Mr Rowan and the then Anglo CEO Sean FitzPatrick, it is claimed.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted Mr Rowan's application to have the case against him transferred to the Commercial Court, saying he was satisfied the matter came within the rules allowing such matters to be dealt with by the court.

Counsel for IBRC argued it was a contract of employment matter and should go through the normal High Court process rather than the Commercial Court.

The judge said he did not believe it fell foul of the court rules and he adjourned the matter to July 29 for further directions.

In its action, IBRC is seeking a number of declarations including that the purported "resignation agreement" with Mr Rowan in December 2005 is void because under Section 186 of the Companies Act 1963 the payments first required approval from a general meeting of the bank.

It seeks declarations that he repay around €2.1m he received for loss of office, annual bonus for 2005, and outstanding deferred bonuses.

It is also seeking the repayment of another €2.89m for employer pension contribution made to augment a preserved benefits of around €1.5m payable to him at age 50.

In an affidavit, Mr Rowan, of Tinarana, Rahena Beg, Killaloe, Co Clare, says he is "horrified" the bank is now seeking repayment more than seven years after his retirement.

Irish Independent