Quinn: We had nothing to do with Anglo failure29/07/2012 - 16:15:14
Former tycoon Sean Quinn has denied his gamble on shares in the former Anglo Irish Bank collapsed the rogue lender and Ireland’s banking system.
The bankrupt ex-billionaire refuted suggestions his secret buying of a 25% stake in the bank led to Ireland’s €61bn bank bailout.
Quinn agreed his actions helped to destabilise Anglo earlier than it would have happened.
He said: “If you’re asking me, did we have anything to do with the failure of Anglo, definitely not. As regards losing €33bn, we had zero effect on that.”
Quinn said he would not accept any responsibility for the Government’s controversial bank guarantee in September 2008.
“All of the Irish banks went bankrupt and all of the banks working in Ireland, the Lloyds and Ulsters and that, they all lost a fortune in Ireland,” he told RTÉ’s 'This Week'.
“The bank guarantee was needed for all of the banks… maybe Anglo was the worst of the three. Sean Quinn had nothing to do with the overall losses in the banking system.”
State-owned Anglo, rebranded as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), is chasing the Quinns for €2.8bn in debts. The family disputes €2.3bn, claiming the loans were illegal.
Quinn openly admitted they did everything in their power to move assets from under Anglo’s nose as he fought back and accused the lender of “daylight robbery” as it tried to take control of up to €4bn worth of assets.
His son, Sean junior, is serving three months in jail for contempt of court after trying to hide €500m of property assets.
His nephew Peter Darragh Quinn was also jailed but fled and was photographed with his father, former Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) president Peter Quinn, at a match on Friday.
Quinn said he could easily end up behind bars like his son, as the three have done everything in their power to purge their contempt and failed.
“In my 65 years it’s only in the last three to four months the possibility of jail ever crossed my mind,” he said.
The unprecedented losses were run up by him after he gambled on Anglo stock and lost.
He had secretly built up a stake of at least 25% in Anglo using contracts for difference where he could trade shares without revealing ownership.
Sean FitzPatrick, former Anglo chief executive and chairman, joins two of his boardroom generals who were last week charged with 16 counts of trying to falsely inflate the toxic lender’s share price in July 2008.
Quinn said he should never have borrowed the money for the shares from his beloved Quinn Group and Quinn Direct Insurance, and did not quibble with the Financial Regulator’s decision to sack him as head of the insurance firm.
But he stressed he had been a hardworking man all his life and never got into trouble with anyone regarding money except Anglo.
He said as well as losing on shares, the bank has taken their money, company and reputation before jailing them.
“It’s an unbelievable situation to be in,” he added.