Wednesday 13 December 2017

FitzPatrick 'regretted not being more involved in Maple 10 deal'

Witness Matt Moran arriving at court today
Witness Matt Moran arriving at court today

Sarah Stack and Dearbhail McDonald

THE former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, Sean FitzPatrick, regretted not being more involved with the Maple 10 loan for shares deal, a court has heard.

Matt Moran, former chief financial officer at the lender, told the trial of three Anglo executives that Mr FitzPartick made the comment after the transactions were being executed, possibly the week beginning Monday, July 14 2008.

Mr Moran alleged that when he met Mr FitzPatrick, the former chairman said: "I wonder was that the right transaction to do specifically in respect of the recourse to the borrowers."

"He made a comment to me that he regretted that he didn't become more personally involved in this issue than he had done.

"He questioned if 25pc was enough," he added.

Mr Moran said the Financial Regulator had also raised concerns over the level of lending to members of Sean Quinn's family to buy out his secret shares.

He told the Circuit Criminal Court he sat in on a weekend conference call two days before the deal took place between Con Horan - second in command at the regulators office -  and Morgan Stanley, the investment firm executing the transactions.

He said during that call it was outlined that Mr Quinn's family members would acquire 2.99pc of shares each, with 10 of the bank's clients acquiring 1.3pc each.

"The fact that the bank would lend to these parties was highlighted in the call," Mr Moran said.

"Mr Horan raised the issue of lending to Quinn. He said 'this may be a stumbling block for the authority'."

Mr Moran said he believed this was raised as Anglo was close to lending the Quinn Group the maximum 25pc of funds permitted to any connection.

Mr Moran was giving evidence today in the trial of Sean FitzPatrick, 65, from Greystones in Co Wicklow, 51-year-old Patrick Whelan of Malahide in Dublin and 63-year-old William McAteer of Rathgar in Dublin.

The men have pleaded not guilty to 16 charges of unlawfully providing financial assistance to individuals for the purpose of buying shares in Anglo Irish Bank in 2008.

Mr Whelan has also denied seven charges of being privy to the fraudulent alteration of a loan facility letter.

Mr Moran also said that he was assured by a senior bank executive that there would be no "side letter" put in place to remove a 25pc recourse for the so called Maple 10.

Matt Moran said that at a meeting with Mr Whelan, then head of lending (Ireland) on July 10, 2008, he (Moran) expressed the view that a side letter in then lending agreements relating to the Mape 10 was inappropriate.

Mr Moran served as CFO of Anglo when the bank lent sums of money to what became known as the Maple 10 in July 2008.

The trial has heard that the Maple 10 was a group of high net worth individuals – some of Anglo's "well regarded" customers – to whom €45m was lent to each as part of a plan to unwind Sean Quinn's stake which he built up through contracts for difference (CFD).

Yesterday Mr Moran – who has been granted immunity from prosecution for giving evidence at the trial of three Anglo executives – told jurors that he requested to sell his Anglo shares at the time but was encouraged to keep them and purchase more as a sign of confidence in the lender.

The trial continues.

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