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What exactly were the Ansbacher accounts?


Des Traynor

Des Traynor

Des Traynor

ANSBACHER accounts were funds that were lodged in Ireland by a bank from the Cayman Islands called Ansbacher Cayman Limited. The accounts formed a central role in an unauthorised, secret financial service run by Des Traynor.

Mr Traynor, since deceased, was an accountant with Guinness & Mahon Bank and a financial advisor to former Taoiseach Charles Haughey.

Wealthy Irish individuals could keep money offshore, have no record of their deposits in Ireland and yet have access to their funds within the State, through Mr Traynor (inset).

Clients deposited tens of millions of pounds with Ansbacher and the money was treated for tax purposes as if it had been lodged offshore. The accounts were in operation from 1971 until the mid-1990s.

Their existence was exposed during the McCracken Tribunal, set up in 1997 to look into payments by businessman Ben Dunne to former Taoiseach Charles Haughey and former cabinet minister Michael Lowry.

The Revenue Commissioners began investigating the accounts in 1999 and up to last year had secured €113m in taxes and penalties from account holders. However, not one prosecution occurred.