Sunday 17 February 2019

Quinns claim Central Bank 'conspired' with Anglo

Tim Healy

THE Department of Finance and Central Bank conspired with Anglo Irish Bank in relation to its advancing more than €2bn in loans to Quinn companies for the unlawful purpose of propping up its share price, it has been alleged in the Commercial Court.

The alleged conspiracy involved the department arranging for documents from Anglo to be "significantly amended" to disguise the true extent of the department's knowledge about what was happening in relation to the loans, the family of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn has claimed.

Had the regulators done their duty and not encouraged Anglo's actions, these illegal loans would not have been advanced, Anglo "would have gone to the wall" much more quickly and the Quinns would not have been exposed to claims for €2.34bn, Martin Hayden SC, for the Quinns, said.

He was applying for orders joining the department and Central Bank, in their capacity as regulators, as co-defendants with Anglo in the Quinns' action denying liability for those loans. The family is alleging conspiracy, breach of duty and misfeasance in public office against the regulators.

Mr Hayden argued that documents showed officials in the department were aware "every step of the way" from October 2007 of the difficulties being experienced by Anglo in dealing with the contract for difference positions built up by Mr Quinn in the bank.

When Mr Justice Peter Kelly queried if the evidence supported the claims that the department arranged for alteration of Anglo documents, Mr Hayden said it did.

Kieran Wallace, special liquidator of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo), has opposed the joinder application on grounds including it is misconceived, will fundamentally alter the nature of the family's case against the bank and make an already complex case more complicated and longer.

Paul Gallagher SC, for IBRC, said Aoife Quinn had in affidavits made many "wild assertions", some of which were grounded in no evidence at all.

The hearing continues today.

Irish Independent

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