Tuesday, October 01 17:45:39
Anglo Irish Bank, under former boss Sean Fitzpatrick and his management team, overcharged its customers by as much as E500m, a US court heard today.
The allegation was made by Eddie Fitzpatrick, who runs a forensic banking firm called Bankcheck, BankCheck, a Belfast-based consultancy, which investigates bank errors for businesses and individuals.
It is understood that Mr Fitzpatrick has compiled a folder of top Anglo clients believed to be among those who it is alleged have had surplus interest added on to their loans without their consent.
Mr Fitzpatick's claim is part of litigation being taken by Irish developer John Flynn, who is making allegations of fraud against IBRC; formerly Anglo Irish Bank.
Mr Flynn is objecting to the liquidation of IBRC because it could block him being paid damages if he won his fraud case.
IBRC is fighting attempts to frustrate the wind-down of IBRC, which is now subject of a series of objections in the US.
It has said it would vigorously oppose attempts to block the liquidation of the bank.
In new documents lodged in US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, Mr Fitzpatrick said he had audited 31 separate customer accounts.
He found the clients had been overcharged as a result of "loading" of interest rates ranging from 0.5pc to 0.05pc.
In his statement Mr Fitzpatrick said: "All of those accounts were subjected to both manual and automated deceitful procedures which resulted in substantial overcharging of interest to their accounts totalling in excess of E7.7m."
He said "In my opinion the extent of the loading of rates and the lack of correlation in the amount by which the rates were loaded by would lead me to conclude that the conduct of the bank could have been nothing other than deliberate or to put it another way an attempt to defraud customers."
However he said in order to verify the claim he need further records from the bank.
Following the release of the Anglo Tapes, Mr Fitzpatrick requested transcripts of recordings relating to interest rate loading.
The special liquidators of IBRC have applied for bankruptcy protection to prevent E1bn of assets being seized by creditors while the bank is being wound down.