Internal Anglo report deems decisions 'unwise'

An internal report on the Maple loans at Anglo Irish Bank found decisions were made to "keep the bank alive" that in hindsight may appear "unwise".

A court has heard the report was written by the bank's former head of lending in Ireland, Pat Whelan, one of three executives who denies providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals to buy shares in Anglo in July 2008.

Pat Whelan's 2009 report describes the Maple Ten as "the bank's most loyal and supportive clients".

They are the ten investors who were approached by Anglo and given €45m loans in July 2008 to buy shares, formerly controlled by Sean Quinn, as part of a scheme to dilute the Cavan businessman's massive 29% stake in the bank.

But by that Octobe,r there were concerns as Anglo's share price fell that the bank would be subject to a merger or an aggressive takeover, leaving these loyal clients insufficient time to deal with their debt.

Back-dated "protection" letters wiping out the bank's security by reducing the Maple Ten's personal liability for the loans from 25% to zero were, the report found, an "error of judgment".

It concludes a number of decisions were made to keep the bank alive that may appear unwise with the benefit of hindsight.

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