Sunday 17 November 2019

Anglo board instructed Drumm to keep regulator informed about unwinding of Quinn's stake

David Drumm, the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank
Former Anglo Chairman Sean FitzPatrick
Patrick Whelan
Former Finance Director of Anglo Irish Bank Willie McAteer arriving at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today. Photo: /Phtotocall Ireland

Dearbhail McDonald and Sarah Stack

THE board of the former Anglo Irish Bank instructed its CEO David Drumm to keep the Financial Regulator informed "all the way" about plans to unwind businessman Sean Quinn's indirect stake in the bank, a court has heard.

The trial of three former Anglo directors has also been told that former board member Gary McGann knew before a July 2008 transaction to unwind Mr Quinn's stake - which included part of Mr Quinn's stake being bought out by High Net Worth customers of the bank- that the transaction was to take place.

Gary McGann, CEO of Smurfit Kappa, who served as a non executive director of Anglo until January 2009, confirmed that he wrote a series of emails to Mr Drumm on July 10th 2008, congratulating Mr Drumm on his efforts to unwind Mr Quinn's stake.

"You and the team are doing fantastic work in very trying circumstances," said Mr McGann in the chain of emails, adding "I just wanted to acknowledge that- we are all rooting for you!"

Mr McGann  is giving evidence this morning in the trial of three former directors accused of allowing the bank to illegally provide loans used to fund the acquisition of the shares in the bank.

The three accused men are Sean FitzPatrick (65), from Greystones, Co Wicklow; William McAteer (63), of Rathgar in Dublin; and Patrick Whelan (51), of Malahide, Co Dublin.

They are charged with 16 counts each of providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals in July 2008 to buy shares in Anglo Irish Bank.

The 16 are members of the Quinn family plus the Maple 10, a group of 10 former large-scale Anglo Irish Bank customers.

The three men have denied all the charges.

Mr Whelan also denies being privy to the fraudulent alteration of loan facility letters to seven individuals.

Mr McGann said that the board of Anglo instructed Mr Drumm to immediately instruct Former Financial Regulator Patrick Neary about Mr Quinn's stake in September 2007.

Mr Neary, who has completed his evidence, insists that at a meeting on September 12th, 2007 - a day after Mr Quinn disclosed a then 24pc holding in the bank built up through Contracts for Difference (CFDs) - Mr Drumm did not disclose the extent of Mr Quinn's stake, Mr Neary insists that he did not find out about the extent of Mr Quinn's stake until March 21st, 2008.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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