Probe into Anglo Irish Bank won't wrap up until later in the year
A GARDA investigation into Anglo Irish Bank will not be completed until later this year.
While senior executives at the bank have given detailed statements to detectives about the transactions at the centre of the inquiry, the former chief executive, David Drumm, and the former chairman, Sean FitzPatrick, have yet to be interviewed.
The investigation is focusing on the concealment of €87m in loans to Sean FitzPatrick and the transfer of €7.45bn from Irish Life and Permanent to Anglo Irish Bank at the end of its financial year. The transaction bolstered Anglo's balance sheet.
A third bank, Irish Nationwide, has also been drawn into the probe for concealing the loans to Sean FitzPatrick.
A share deal, in which a 'golden circle' of 10 businessmen were loaned money to buy back shares, is under investigation by the corporate watchdog, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.
Close to 100 witness statements have been taken so far and at least 100 more are expected to be interviewed.
A source said investigators hope to report progress in the investigation by the summer but are not expecting to have finished their inquiries by then. He said that an impression that arrests are imminent is wide of the mark.
The investigation centres on loan documentation within the banks.
Senior staff in the three banks that have been drawn into the probe have given detailed statements to detectives, providing significant insight into what happened.
"We are getting good co-operation at the moment. It may not apply to everybody we speak to but at the moment it does," said the source.
The High Court heard in December that a huge volume of material, including millions of electronic documents relating to employees of the bank, have been seized.
The bank is fully co-operating with the investigation by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.
The investigation is of enormous public interest, not least because €4bn of taxpayers' money has been used to bail out Anglo Irish Bank.