views

Anglo Irish is hit by fresh loans scandal

EIGHT senior managers at the nationalised Anglo Irish Bank owed the bank a total of &euro;21.9m (&pound;20m) in personal loans as of the end of September last year.<br /><br />The group of senior figures, who are still with the bank, owed loans ranging from &euro;835,000 to &euro;7.1m, according to leaked internal documents. Just one &ndash; outgoing chief risk officer Peter Butler &ndash; had admitted taking a loan from the bank as of last night.<br /><br />Butler conceded that he had taken out a loan worth &euro;861,000 with the bank, but said that he was paying it back appropriately and would not default.<br /><br />The revelation will be particularly embarrassing for the nationalised bank, given that former chairman Sean Fitzpatrick left last year after failing to disclose &euro;87m in personal loans&nbsp; from shareholders.<br /><br />Finance director Willie McAteer, who was also forced to step down over the scandal, owed &euro;8m to the bank as of the end of September, a sum not included in the latest figure of &euro;21.9m.<br /><br />The bank will transfer around &euro;28bn worth of loans at a 30 per cent discount into finance minister Brian Lenihan&rsquo;s &ldquo;bad bank&rdquo;, the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).<br /><br />But the Irish government is still expected to add to the &euro;3.8bn in capital it has already ploughed into the lender, increasing the pressure on the bank to improve transparency surrounding loans to managers.<br /><br />The Irish government moved to nationalise the bank after it recorded a &euro;4.1bn loss for the six months to the end of March, the largest half-year loss in Irish corporate history.<br /><br />Anglo Irish declined to comment on loans yesterday, but is understood to be monitoring lending to managers more closely since last year.