Anglo trial: Regulator accused of 'cheerleading' loans for shares deal

Former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick - on trial

The Financial Regulator's office has been accused of 'cheerleading' an allegedly illegal loans for shares deal by Anglo Irish Bank.

Witness Con Horan, formerly of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority (IFSRA), was being cross-examined today at the trial of former Anglo executives Willie McAteer, Sean FitzPatrick and Pat Whelan who deny providing unlawful loans to 16 individuals to buy the bank's shares in July 2008.

Lawyers for Anglo's former chairman FitzPatrick have accused the Financial Regulator's office of cheerleading the bank's efforts to offload the 29 % interest Cavan businessman Sean Quinn had built up in Anglo.

In July 2008 Anglo is accused of issuing allegedly illegal loans to 16 individuals to buy the bulk of Mr Quinn's stake in order to stabilise its share price.

Mr Horan, the IFSRA's former Prudential Director, agreed the regulator was "close to" and "positively disposed" to the Quinn unwind but rejected the term "cheerleading".

He was then asked if people get a dictionary going to work where they exchange these bland terms.

He replied that he wasn't sure if there was a huge difference but that it depends on how cheerleading is defined.

The trial continues.

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