Wednesday 24 January 2018

Noonan says Anglo list was to 'avoid preferential treatment'

Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Finance Minister Michael Noonan

Fionnan Sheahan, Group Political Editor

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said a list of high profile borrowers from Anglo Irish Bank was drawn up to “avoid preferential treatment” being shown.

Rugby players, RTE stars, musicians, judges and some of the country’s senior legal professionals were among the people placed on a list of “sensitive” borrowers compiled by the former Anglo Irish Bank, as revealed by the Irish Independent.

But Mr Noonan said the list of “politically exposed” investors was made to comply with a requirement of the Criminal Justice Act 2010.

Independent TD Thomas Pringle said there need to be assurances given that individuals – some of whom received writedowns on their loans - did not get special treatment in their dealings with the bank.

Mr Noonan said the list was compiled to do the complete opposite of what the TD was suggesting and was done to “avoid preferential treatment”.

The minister said if Anglo’s special liquidator comes across any criminal activity, he is obliged to report it to the gardai.

He said the special liquidator of the former bank has assured him he has not come across any criminal activity in this regard.

Six Catholic religious orders were also placed on a list of “politically exposed” investors who entrusted more than €250m to Anglo Irish Bank’s private wealth management division.

The orders were placed on a list of “sensitive” investors along with a retired senior judge, an RTE star, an insolvency expert, a bestselling novelist and a member of the Seanad.

Lawyers, journalists and some of the country’s leading pension funds as well as high net worth business people were also placed on Anglo’s politically exposed persons (PEP) investor list.

Irish Independent

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