€188 a month: Seanie’s fall from grace

HIS wealth was estimated at a staggering €55 million in 2008, but yesterday former Anglo chairman and bankrupt Sean FitzPatrick told the High Court he now has an income of just €188 a month.

A statement of affairs provided to the court as part of Mr FitzPatrick’s bankruptcy proceedings disclosed that the former bank chief has debts of more than €145m, compared with assets of just over €47m.

In the statement to the court, Mr FitzPatrick revealed he receives €3,693 per month net of tax, as payment from an Irish Life Annuity. But his submission showed that is virtually wiped out by the net loss of €3,505 per month he makes on three properties, a house in Bray and apartments at Smithfield Market, Dublin, and Killiney Court, Killiney.

The disgraced banker co-owns those properties and receives a rental income of more than €50,000 per year. But he told the court that when mortgage repayments and other overheads on the properties are taken into account he makes the net loss. That was how he came up with the monthly income figure of €188.

Mr FitzPatrick’s statement also showed he is joint owner of his family home, a house in Greystones and an apartment in Marbella, Spain. Only the Marbella apartment is not subject to a mortgage.

His assets also include property interests in Britain, France, Hungary, South Africa and the US.

Other assets include his interests in Nigerian oil and gas firm Ekeh and in the Quinlan Property group.

He also holds a number of investment portfolios, including ones with a number of stockbroker firms, NCB, Davys and Goodbody’s, as well as investment banks Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. His 4.9 million Anglo shares are worth nothing. He also provided details of money held in various Dublin bank accounts.

According to the statement of affairs, sworn by Mr FitzPatrick earlier this week, the former Anglo boss has secured debts mainly owed to financial institutions of €84.299m, more than €73m of which is owed to Anglo. The others debtors include Ulster Bank, AIB, Bank of Ireland Scotland, Friends First and Haven Mortgage.

The statement also lists Mr FitzPatrick’s unsecured debts as €61m. These include contingent liabilities of €9.3m for personal guarantee made in respect of Mr FitzPatrick’s adult children and €46.65m for personal guarantees he made in respect of various investments.

The Revenue Commissioners have made a number of demands for approximately €3.5m from Mr FitzPatrick, several of which are currently under appeal.

The High Court was also informed during the brief hearing that state-owned Anglo Irish Bank withdrew their application to have their own trustee appointed to control Mr FitzPatrick’s assets. The bank had wanted to replace the court-appointed official assignee Chris Lehane who was given control over Mr FitzPatrick’s assets.

Paul Gardiner, for Anglo, which claims it is owed €110m, told Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne that the bank no longer wished to proceed with its motion to have a trustee appointed over the bankruptcy to replace Mr Lehane, who will now divide up Mr FitzPatrick’s assets to pay creditors.


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