Credits and Loans

FitzPatrick’s Anglo loans were small, court told

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The former auditor of Anglo Irish Bank has told the trial of Seán FitzPatrick that loans linked to him made up a very small portion of the bank’s loan book.

Mr FitzPatrick, 68, the bank’s former chairman, denies misleading auditors about multi-million euro loans from 2002 to 2007.

Kieran Kelly, a partner with the audit firm EY (previously Ernst & Young), told the court that Mr FitzPatrick’s loans made up a “very small” percentage of Anglo’s entire loan portfolio.

Mr Kelly, one of AIB’s auditors, said it would be about 0.2 per cent of the bank’s loan book, which in 2002 stood at approximately €19 billion.

Bernard Condon, SC, for the defence, put it to Mr Kelly that loans to directors represented a very small figure in the context of the overall balance sheet of the bank and that any likely impact was considered small.

Mr Kelly replied: “We didn’t consider loans to directors as being a significant audit risk area.”

Mr FitzPatrick, of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow, is charged with 27 offences under the 1990 Companies Act. These include 22 charges of making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors and five charges of furnishing false information.

The trial continues before Judge John Aylmer.