Friday 20 April 2018

Irish Life actuary said 'hair raised' when he heard company had transferred billions to Anglo Irish Bank, court hears

Left to right, William McAteer, Denis Casey, John Bowe, and Peter Fitzpatrick
Left to right, William McAteer, Denis Casey, John Bowe, and Peter Fitzpatrick

Declan Brennan

The chief actuary with Irish Life has said his hair stood up when he heard that the assurance company had transferred billions of euro to Anglo Irish Bank, a court has heard.

Four former senior bankers from Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) are on trial for allegedly conspiring to mislead investors by setting up a €7.2 billion circular transaction scheme to bolster Anglo's 2008 balance sheet.

Peter Fitzpatrick (63) of Convent Lane, Portmarnock, Dublin, John Bowe (52) from Glasnevin, Dublin, Willie McAteer (65) of Greenrath, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary and Denis Casey (56), from Raheny, Dublin have all pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring together and with others to mislead investors through financial transactions between March 1 and September 30, 2008.

On day 47 of the trial Bruce Maxwell, who was the chief actuary with Irish Life Assurance (ILA) in 2008, said that his understanding of the transactions was that Anglo placed the money with ILP who then lent the money to ILA.

ILA then placed the money with Anglo, he said. He told Úna Ní Raifeartaigh SC, prosecuting: “This is not something that would happen normally. ILA were borrowing money. That isn't normal.”

He said when he heard about the size of the placements from ILA to Anglo he said “it didn't make any sense” because “Irish Life would not have had six billion to invest in Anglo”.

He added: “When I heard the figure six billion my hair raised. Irish Life wouldn’t even have had six billion to spare.

“My initial reaction was six million. I said it doesn't make any sense. We could not have dipped into our own funds”.

He said he was later told that the deposits from ILA were secured by the loans from Anglo to ILP.

“It wasn’t our six billion at all,” he said. The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.

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