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McAteer could face further charges

Willie McAteer

Willie McAteer

CONVICTED Anglo Irish banker Willie McAteer from Rathmullan could face new criminal charges over an €8.2m director’s loan he received just hours before the Government rushed through the bank guarantee.

Former Anglo CEO David Drumm sanctioned the huge non-recourse loan to McAteer, his second in command – even though the bank was on the brink of collapse – on September 29, 2008.

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McAteer was investigated for fraudulent trading in relation to the loan and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is now considering whether he should be prosecuted, the Sunday Independent reported today.

McAteer, a finance director, was spared a jail sentence last week after he and co-accused Pat Whelan were found guilty of allowing Anglo to make illegal loans to the Maple 10 investors, in connection with the loan.

But the revelation that Anglo bailed out its own finance director to the tune of €8.2m will infuriate taxpayers who have already lost a staggering €34bn bailing out the now defunct bank.

Mr Drumm played a crucial role in facilitating the loan to McAteer at a time when the bank was in crisis, allegedly to shield the share price from further falls.

McAteer had borrowed €8.2m from Bank of Ireland to buy shares in Anglo. One of the conditions was that the shares had to be worth more than the value of the loan.

But as Anglo’s share price plummeted in late September 2008, Bank of Ireland threatened to seize McAteer’s shares and dump them on the market if the loan wasn’t repaid.

The prospect of a senior director’s shares flooding the market would have accelerated the collapse of Anglo’s share price.

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On September 29, the day before the guarantee was introduced, Mr Drumm sanctioned the €8.2m loan to McAteer to stop the share price falling further while simultaneously courting other banks to bail out Anglo.

In statements disclosed since the Anglo trial, Richard Burrows, governor of Bank of Ireland, described how Sean FitzPatrick, Anglo’s former chairman, and Mr Drumm came to him that day.

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