Bank regarded Byrne as ‘astute and prudent’

Bank of Scotland Ireland viewed Thomas Byrne as “an astute and prudent operator” when lending him over €13m, the former solicitor’s trial has heard.

Bank regarded Byrne as ‘astute  and prudent’

The bank regarded Mr Byrne as a “highly regarded and experienced broker with an excellent track record”. Documents presented to the court show it saw him as a “valuable connection” responsible for introducing high net-worth individuals to Bank of Scotland Ireland.

The jury heard Mr Byrne was recruited by the bank to be on its legal panel and carry out work as a solicitor for it.

Mr Byrne, aged 47, of Walkinstown Rd, Crumlin is accused of theft and fraud offences totalling €51.8m. The charges allege he transferred clients’ homes into his name and then used them as collateral for property loans.

He has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 51 counts of theft, forgery, using forged documents, and deception between 2004 and 2007.

The former head of credit risk with Bank of Scotland Ireland, Henry Roach, said Mr Byrne was granted three loans for the purposes of property development and trading.

Mr Roach said investigations later showed that Mr Byrne was not the registered owner of several properties used as collateral for the loans.

Damien Colgan, defending, said there were several errors in the bank documents.

The trial continues.

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