DISGRACED banker Sean FitzPatrick cannot repay the €70m he owes Anglo Irish Bank as he is, in effect, broke, it has emerged.
Anglo has issued legal proceedings against Mr FitzPatrick, a former chairman of the bank, in an effort to recover the unpaid loans.
The State-owned financial institution is entitled to pursue all assets owned by Mr FitzPatrick, including his family home in Greystones, Co Wicklow. However, if the property is owned by both spouses, the bank cannot take possession.
It is understood Mr FitzPatrick, while not contesting the legal action, will argue he is not in a position to repay the loans. A deadline for the payment of the money passed this week and the bank lodged a summons in the High Court.
Mr FitzPatrick's wealth was estimated at €90m at the height of the economic boom, but he is no longer worth that amount.
The bank will now seek a hearing at the Commercial Court. It is understood Anglo is entitled to seek judgments against any assets it wants, though interests outside Ireland may be beyond its grasp.
Reports today stated Mr FitzPatrick, who was also on the board of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, had engaged leading criminal law firm Michael Staines and Co to represent him.
It is the second lawsuit taken by Anglo against a former senior executive after the action against ex-CEO David Drumm over unpaid loans of €8.3m.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has welcomed the move against Mr FitzPatrick and warned the money owed must be recouped.
The moves against Mr FitzPatrick are separate from other probes into his non-disclosure to shareholders of loans over an eight-year period.
Meanwhile, Anglo chairman Donal O'Connor, has decided to step down and will be replaced by former Fine Gael politician Alan Dukes. Mr O'Connor plans to leave in July.
Mr Lenihan intends to appoint at least two and possibly three non-executive directors to the board, it is claimed.