Wednesday 15 August 2018

FitzPatrick told worried wife 'we've a lot of assets'

Catriona FitzPatrick, wife of former Anglo boss Sean. Photo: Collins Courts
Catriona FitzPatrick, wife of former Anglo boss Sean. Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

The wife of former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick has told the High Court that, after he resigned from the bank in late 2008, he told her that she was "not to worry".

Catriona FitzPatrick said she knew about the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the US in September 2008, that "the world was in turmoil" and it was "a terrible time".

Ms FitzPatrick was being cross-examined by Paul Gardiner SC, for Chris Lehane, the official assignee (OA) in bankruptcy who administered her husband's bankruptcy, in proceedings claiming she is entitled to about €6m in assets, which she claims were jointly held by the couple before her husband was declared bankrupt in 2010.

She told the court that after her husband resigned as non-executive chairman of Anglo in December 2008, she told him she was worried.

"I asked him were we ok and he said we were," Ms FitzPatrick said. "I was a bit worried but I wasn't unduly worried."

She said Mr FitzPatrick told her they had a deposit account in Anglo and we had "a lot of assets". She had not asked him what they owed, she said. She agreed her husband told her in 2009 there was an €80m debt.

She understood, as a result of a facility letter of February 2009, they had given whatever securities the bank had looked for and that meant Anglo had no charge related to herself and her children.

Earlier, she said, throughout their 44-year marriage, she left financial dealings to her husband and did not know the detail of their finances. "I trusted him implicitly."

Ms FitzPatrick told Mr Gardiner her husband had opened a Northern Rock account in her name and gave her forms to sign. She was aware there was €7m in the account and he used that for investments. She never knew the extent of the wealth they had accumulated but knew they were "comfortable".

Hers is one of three actions being heard by Ms Justice Marie Baker relating to whether she has any interest in assets subject of the bankruptcy.

Mr FitzPatrick was declared bankrupt with assets of some €47m and debts of €147m and has since exited bankruptcy.

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent

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