Other banks assure of ‘no similar issues’

FOLLOWING the high-profile resignations at Anglo Irish, the country’s three other listed banks were quick to confirm there were no similar issues at their operations.

AIB, the country’s largest bank, said there was “no sense of that at all here”.

It said at the end of December 2007 there were €14.4 million in loans outstanding to eight directors.

It also said all loans to directors would be disclosed in its annual report.

Both Bank of Ireland and Irish Life and Permanent said there were “no similar issues” at their operations.

At the end of March 2008, there was €9.5m in loans outstanding to Bank of Ireland directors and €1.5m loans outstanding to executive directors at the bank.

At the end of 2007 there were €581,000 loans outstanding to 11 directors at Irish Life and Permanent.

Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm resigned yesterday, hours after chairman Sean FitzPatrick quit for failing to fully disclose €87 million in loans from the bank.

Mr Fitzpatrick had temporarily transferred borrowings to another bank before each year-end.

Loans moved off the bank’s books before the year-end would not show up on the annual accounts.

“I believe that FitzPatrick’s actions are a financial three-card trick that appear to run a coach and four through the spirit, if not the letter, of the requirements of financial reporting,” said Joan Burton, finance spokeswoman for the Labour Party.

FitzPatrick became general manager of an Anglo Irish forerunner in 1979. The company in its current form was created in a 1986 merger, and he remained chief executive of the company until 2005, when David Drumm succeeded him.

FitzPatrick earned €2.72m in his last full year as chief executive, according to the 2004 annual report.

FitzPatrick, who was paid €431,000 as chairman, will be succeeded by Donal O’Connor.

Anglo Irish said that loans to directors in 2008 were €150m. The bank’s 2007 annual report shows aggregate director loans of €47m.

In October Irish billionaire Sean Quinn, whose family bought 15% in the bank in July, stepped down as chairman of Quinn Insurance after the regulator fined the company for making a €288m loan to a related company without disclosing it.

David Ross, a co-founder of Carphone Warehouse Group, quit earlier this month after he backed personal loans with shares without telling the company.

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