Senior Anglo banker refused to sign off on inter-bank transfers of €7.2bn, trial hears

A senior banker with Anglo Irish Bank refused to sign off on inter-bank transfers of €7.2bn which were allegedly made to manipulate the bank's balance sheets, a trial has heard.

Four men, including Anglo's former Head of Finance, Willie McAteer (aged 65) and John Bowe (aged 52), who had been Anglo's head of capital markets are accused of conspiring to mislead investors by using interbank loans to make Anglo appear €7.2bn more valuable than it was.

The interbank loans allegedly involved money being transferred by Anglo to Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) and then being put back on deposit with Anglo via ILP's life assurance division.

The transfer would allegedly appear as corporate deposits and not an interbank loan so the bank's corporate funding figure would appear bigger for the bank's year-end figures on 30 September, 2008.

Peter Fitzpatrick (aged 63), former director of finance at Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) of Convent Lane, Portmarnock, ILP's former CEO Denis Casey (aged 56) from Raheny, Dublin, Mr McAteer of Greenrath, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary and Mr Bowe, from Glasnevin Dublin have all pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring together and with others to mislead investors through financial transactions between March 1 and September 30, 2008.

The trial resumed in evidence before the jury briefly this morning after a break of two days for legal argument.

Tony O'Hanlon, who worked in the area of credit limits for Anglo, told Úna Ní Raifeartaigh SC, prosecuting, that the bank's transaction limits were €500m.

He said that the transactions in September 2008 with ILP were €6.7bn in excess of this and this meant the transactions needed to be signed off.

Mr O'Hanlon said he was asked to sign off on the transfer but he refused.

He told the jury that the transaction was far in excess of the limits and totally out of proportion.

He said he couldn't rationalise approving that excess.

The jury heard that Mr McAteer and Mike Nurse, who at the time was head of Treasury Risk and Mr O'Hanlon's boss, did sign off on the excess.

Judge Martin Nolan assured the jury today that the trial was on schedule to finish in May.

It will continue in evidence on Monday.


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