Anglo bankers 'honest and truthful' says developer

Maple 10 developer Gerry Gannon has told the Anglo trial that he always found people who worked at the bank to be "honest and truthful".

Former Anglo executives Pat Whelan, Sean FitzPatrick and Willie McAteer deny providing unlawful financial assistance to the ten investors and members of the Quinn family to buy the bank's shares in July 2008.

He said he got a call from Mr Whelan sometime in July. Mr Whelan told him he had an opportunity for him and asked if he would be interested in meeting Anglo CEO David Drumm.

They met a few days later and had a “chit chat”. Mr Gannon was told the opportunity had come up to buy shares in Anglo and they wanted to give him a chance to get involved because he “had been a good customer of the bank”.

The witness said that no third parties were mentioned at this meeting and no issues the bank may have been facing were discussed.

Mr Gannon said he was interested and the deal was put in place.

He continued to give similar evidence to the other Maple 10 witnesses.

He told how he signed particular documents related to the €45m from Anglo. He confirmed that the initial recourse on him was 25%.

“Meaning if anything happened I would have to pay back 25%,” he said. “I was in for 25%.”

He said he later bought more shares in Anglo on his own initiative. It was his belief at the time that the share price would recover.

During a brief cross-examination by Mr Grehan, Mr Gannon said: “I always found all people who worked in Anglo to be honest and truthful.”

Ex-Anglo employee Niall Tuite also gave evidence. He was head of credit risk for Ireland and the US.

He had told the jury he had a role in approving the credit risk in the Maple 10 deal.

He said that in December he discovered that the conditions of the loan had been changed and that the Maple 10 were now subject to 0% recourse.

It was his belief that this was done “without credit approval.”

On the morning of Christmas Eve he went to Pat Whelan’s office and voiced his concerns. He told Mr Whelan he wanted the issue “elevated to the highest levels in the bank”.

He said Mr Whelan responded that he happened to be meeting with Anglo’s executive chairman Donal O’Connor in half an hour and would raise the matter then.

Mr Tuite said that a short time later Mr Whelan “put his head into my office and said he had spoken to Donal and that the matter was in hand”.

“His exact words were: ‘You don’t need to worry about it’,” Mr Tuite said.

Mr Tuite said that in January the loans were reinstated to their original recourse.

Mr Tuite finished his evidence by telling the jury that he was told by Pat Whelan that legal advice had been sought on the Maple 10 deal and it was deemed to be above board.

He said he was also told that “anyone who needed to be aware was aware”, for example the Anglo board or the Financial Regulator.

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