| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 Asia Economy


How to use our RSS feed

Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.


Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.


Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax - Income/Corporate

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News


Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News




Content Management by interactivetools.com.

News : Irish Last Updated: Jul 13, 2010 - 9:39:19 AM

Seán FitzPatrick: From Europe's most successful banker to bankrupt
By Michael Hennigan, Founder and Editor of Finfacts
Jul 12, 2010 - 3:35:56 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
Seán FitzPatrick, a chartered accountant, joined Anglo Irish Bank in 1980 and served as Chief Executive Officer from 1986 to January 2005. He resigned as Chairman of the bank on Dec 18, 2008. FitzPatrick has also resigned from the boards of Smurfit Kappa, Aer Lingus, food group Greencore and investor, Gartmore Irish Growth Fund.

Seán FitzPatrick who transformed Anglo Irish Bank into Europe's most successful bank in results terms, as it recklessly lent with the tacit support of the Irish Government during the property bubble, was today declared a bankrupt by the High Court in Dublin.

FitzPatrick’s barrister, Mark Sanfey SC, told the court that a scheme drawn up to settle with his creditors had not been supported by the management at Anglo Irish Bank. “In the circumstances, Mr Fitzpatrick considered he should bow to the inevitable and not force a vote that he could not possibly win,” Sanfey said.

FitzPatrick has debts of almost €150 million, including €110 million owing to Anglo Irish Bank, and a deficit of €80 million. His shareholdings in the bank were wiped out when it was nationalised in January 2009. All assets owned by FitzPatrick, including a stake in a Nigerian oil well, have come under the control of the official assignee, a court officer who monitors the financial affairs of bankrupt individuals. Any salary, income or pension will also go to the official assignee.

According to current Irish law, individuals can only be discharged as a bankrupt once their debts and the costs of their bankruptcy is covered, or after 12 years have elapsed.

Seán FitzPatrick resigned as chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, following an investigation of directors' loans at the bank in early 2008. FitzPatrick had concealed director loans to himself of up to 122 million each year end over an eight-year period, through an arrangement with Irish Nationwide Building Society. It is unclear if auditors Ernst & Young had ever spotted the transactions. Tens months after the discovery by his staff, the chief executive of the Financial Regulator was told about the loans, FitzPatrick and the bank's chief executive David Drumm resigned.

In June 2007, Fitzpatrick said in a speech at a business lunch, that Ireland’s then economic success was almost entirely due to the country’s entrepreneurs and had little to do with politicians. "You can’t keep good people down forever", he said. "Look around the world and you’ll find Irish emigrant stock at the very top of social, civic, commercial and political life. What happened over the past ten years or so was that this potential was unleashed at home here in Ireland rather than overseas. The Irish economy began to benefit from the innate business sense and entrepreneurship of its people.

"All the politicians did was stand aside and let it happen", Fitzpatrick added. "After years of meddling they finally stood aside and allowed the people to get on with it. Taxes were cut and the economy was allowed to open up and the effect was like putting a flower out in the sun. The economy blossomed."

From Anglo Irish Bank's Annual Report 2006

However, he warned that politicians and regulation were about to stifle growth once more. "Having developed this marvellous entrepreneurial culture which is delivering so many benefits in terms of employment and wealth to the country we must ask ourselves if there is now a danger that our regulatory environment has gone too far?", he asked. "Are we starting to shackle instead of encourage the entrepreneurs who in turn generate more wealth not just for themselves, but for the country as a whole."

Stating that we may have reached a situation where the weight of compliance with the various financial reporting standards and other corporate regulations had become so heavy that entrepreneurs were no longer willing to bear it, Fitzpatrick said: "Among the more insidious and I believe iniquitous aspects of the current regulatory environment is its apparent presumption of guilt on the part of entrepreneurs and businesspeople generally. The whole structure seems to be geared towards an annual proof of innocence statement. This is corporate McCarthyism and we shouldn’t tolerate it."

He said that we should have been proud of our successful business people and not pillory them. "It is time to shout stop. The tide of regulation has gone far enough. We should be proud of our success, not suspicious of it. Our wealth creators should be rewarded and admired not subjected to levels of scrutiny which convicted criminals would rightly find intrusive."

The biggest joke of all was the lax regulatory system, which had brought the Irish banking system to its knees.


"We operate to the highest ethical and governance standards as we aspire to be a model corporate citizen. For this reason we invest heavily in the development and training of our staff, as well as maintaining the highest levels of integrity in our relationships with our stakeholders." - - Anglo Irish Bank Annual Report 2007

Anglo Irish Bank was founded in 1964 as Dublin City Bank and became a publicly quoted company in 1971. It had 1,900 employees in December 2007.

In 1986 Seán FitzPatrick, a chartered accountant, became Chief Executive; Dublin City Bank merged with Anglo Irish Bank Ltd and assumed the latter's name.

December 2008/January 2009 - - Chairman Seán FitzPatrick, Chief Executive David Drumm and a number of board members resigned after it emerged that FitzPatrick had taken measures over an eight-year period, to conceal details from shareholders, of an €87 million loan he took from the bank.

In early October 2008, days after a State guarantee saved his bank from collapse, FitzPatrick called on the Government in another speech, to cut corporation tax and tackle the sacred cows of universal child benefit, state pensions and medical cards for the over-70s.

In March 2010, the former banker was arrested and detectives searched his house in Greystones, County Wicklow, as part of an investigation into possible breaches of company law by the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement.

Anglo Irish Bank closed at 22 euro cent on the Irish Stock Exchange, on its last day of trading before becoming a State-owned bank.

On February 21, 2007, the ISEQ index rose to an-all time high of 10,041 and the Financial sub-index rose to 18,098. Bank of Ireland closed at €18.65; Anglo Irish closed at €16.64 and AIB closed unchanged at €23.95.

A year later, on February 21, 2008, AIB closed at €13.80, Anglo Irish Bank finished at €8.84, while Irish Life & Permanent closed at €10.20 and Bank of Ireland traded at €9.50.

Seven issues dominate the Irish market and in recent years, overseas residents, dominated by institutions, have owned more than 60% of Irish bank shares. Ireland's biggest company CRH, accounts for about a third of Irish market capitalisation and in December 2007, foreign holders held 84% of the issued shares.

Related Articles
Related Articles

© Copyright 2010 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Ryanair revises up full-year profit guidance
AIB bank profitable in third quarter
Ryanair announces half-year profits up 32% to €795m
Ryanair benefits from improved customer service
Ryanair to buy 100 new Boeing 737 MAX 200
Finfacts server migration Thursday
State-owned Allied Irish Banks reports H1 2014 profit as bad loan charges plunge
Ryanair reports profit in its financial first quarter soared 152%
UK firm opens van dealership in Dublin
Ryanair reports 8% fall in full-year profit; US services to commence in 2019
Global Financial Centres Index: New York overtakes London; Dublin slips to 66 of 83 cities
Bank of Ireland reports “significant” improvement in 2013 results
Sale process of IBRC UK projects Rock and Salt completed
CRH says 2014 will be year of profit growth after reporting 2013 loss
Ryanair reports third-quarter loss
Irish Water says it saved €100m in setup costs
RSA Insurance fires two Irish executives for large loss/ accounting irregularities
Bank of Ireland will have to raise provisions by €1.4bn; AIB says it's "well capitalised"
CRH reports slightly improved third quarter
Central Bank says ownership of Newbridge Credit Union transferred to permanent tsb
Ryanair reports H1 profits rose by 1% to €602m
Dublin Web Summit: Irish Stock Exchange and NASDAQ OMX announce dual listing plan
Irish pension managed funds returned to growth during September
Dan O’Brien resigns as economics editor of The Irish Times
Central Bank says no action required on Anglo tapes revelations
Ryanair flew 9m passengers and Aer Lingus carried 1.1m in August
UK Competition Commission says Ryanair must cut Aer Lingus stake to 5%
CRH reports H1 2013 revenue dip and loss
Vodafone refunded UK after discovery of Irish tax haven deal
RBS reports half year profit; Ulster Bank posts reduced loss
Bank of Ireland cuts pretax losses in HI 2013 to €504m
Irish State-owned Allied Irish Banks reports losses of €758m in H1 2013
Service Announcement
Irish managed pension funds declined in June
VHI reports 2012 surplus of €54.3m; Health insurance made loss
Ex- Elan director says management / board "not competent to run a business"
Aer Lingus to put €140m in employees pensions fund; Ryanair apoplectic
Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - May 22, 2013
Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - May 21, 2013
Ryanair, Europe’s biggest low cost carrier, announced Monday record annual profits of €569m - - up 13%