Seán FitzPatrick ‘regretted’ his lack of involvement

Sean FitzPatrick: Wondered if he had done correct deal.

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick told a colleague that he regretted his lack of involvement in the allegedly illegal Maple Ten transaction, his trial has heard.

Matt Moran, Anglo’s former chief financial officer, continued giving prosecution evidence yesterday. The court has heard Mr Moran has been granted immunity from prosecution in this matter.

The jury was shown a letter sent from the Financial Regulator to Anglo which stated the regulator had not given its approval for the deal. Mr Moran said he believed this was an effort by the regulator to row back from its previous knowledge and involvement in the deal.

It was day 11 of evidence in the trial of Mr FitzPatrick who is accused, along with fellow ex-directors William McAteer and Pat Whelan, of providing funding for the purchase of its own shares in contravention of the 1963 Companies Act.

The three accused have been charged at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court with 16 counts of providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals in July 2008 to buy shares in the bank.

Mr Whelan has also been charged with being privy to fraudulent alteration of loan facility letters to seven individuals in October 2008.

Mr FitzPatrick, aged 65, of Greystones, Co Wicklow; Mr McAteer, aged 63, of Rathgar, Dublin; and Mr Whelan, aged 51, of Mala-hide, Dublin, have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Mr Moran was asked by Paul O’Higgins, prosecuting, if he met Mr FitzPatrick during or after the Maple Ten transaction.

The witness said that within two weeks of the deal’s completion, the Anglo chairman came into his office and wondered if they had done the correct deal.

Mr Moran told counsel: “He wondered was that the right transaction to do, specifically in respect of the recourse to the borrowers.”

The witness said the chairman was also sorry he had not taken a bigger role in the transaction. “He made a comment to me that he regretted that he didn’t become more personally involved in this issue than he had done,” Mr Moran said.

The trial continues.

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