Monday 19 February 2018

Ulster Bank gets €19m judgment against two brothers over investment loans

Tim Healy

ULSTER Bank today got €19m judgment orders against two brothers over unpaid loans given to them mainly for investment purposes.

The bank says it gave the loans to Anthony Deane, Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin, and Sean Deane, Cappadoo, Clane, Co Kildare, in 2008 but which have not been repaid.

The loans included €10.4M to fund tax expenses and pay for costs in relation to a Bank of Ireland Brussels investment and also to fund an investment in the UK.

Another €3.37m was provided to fund the purchase of 34 apartments in Rathfarnham, Dublin, while €550,000 was to be used to fund interest on the loan facility.

Their total indebtedness came to around €19m when guarantees they gave for each other's liabilities were taken into account.

In the Commercial Court, Mr Justice Brian McGovern ruled the bank was entitled to summary judgment.

The Deanes, he said, made much of the fact that they were assured the bank only expected payment out of the proceeds of the sale of dwellings which were being constructed by their company, Deane Homes Ltd. The Deanes understood it was a long term relationship and the bank would be repaid when furnished dwellings were sold.

The judge said he was quite satisfied this was the understanding of the parties when they entered into the agreement but there was nothing to suggest that such an understanding had acquired the status of a legal obligation. It was, Mr Justice McGovern said merely aspirational.

The monies, the judge said, were loaned on the basis of facility letters which were clear on their face and which were payable on demand.

The Deanes had claimed they were entitled to defend the case on the basis of a side agreement reached with the bank that the loans were due only on the occasion of the sale of sites at Stocking Lane, Dublin.

The judge said the defendants had offered no evidence other than verbal discussions which they say altered the terms of the facility letters but such evidence was inadmissable. The defendants he said had simply not been able to point to any written document or any facts which go any way near to establishing a collateral agreement.

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