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Anglo Day 12 Lending was normal business

Friday, February 21 08:14:08

Day 12 of the Anglo Trial and details emerged of the Regulator seeking to put distance between the Office and the Sean Quinn deal:

References made to the financial regulator in an agreement between Anglo Irish Bank and businessman Sean Quinn were removed following a request from the financial regulator's office, the trial of three directors of the bank heard yesterday. The agreement reached at the end of March 2008 outlined how Mr Quinn's holding in the bank would be unwound. The original draft of the agreement included references to the financial regulator. Matt Moran, former chief financial officer with Anglo, said he got an email from the bank's chief executive David Drumm on March 31st saying "he" wanted references to the regulator to be removed from the agreement between the bank and Mr Quinn. The Irish Times

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The Court also heard that Anglo came to rely on the "fact" that lending was in the course of their normal business, in the absence of any specific approval from the Regulator:

The court heard earlier this week that Mr Moran had been granted immunity from prosecution by the Director of Public Prosecutions for the purpose of the trial. The jury was shown an email sent from Mr Drumm to Mr Moran on March 19th, 2008. "If we had the approval of the regulator would there be any legal issue (company law) with lending against our own shares?" Mr Drumm asked in the email. "As I understand it we have an out under section 60 if it is in the ordinary course of business. In our case that means lending. Let's look at this option tomorrow."

Mr Moran said he did not recall the email or any follow-up on it the following day. Mr Grehan highlighted an email sent by Mr Moran to Mr Horan at the financial regulator's office on March 31st. It included a memorandum of agreement between Mr Quinn and Anglo over the unwinding of Mr Quinn's interests in the bank.

Mr Moran requested confirmation from the regulator for approval of the deal, "if so required". Mr Grehan noted there were a lot of emails sent to the financial regulator's office on foot of conversations but "very little back traffic". The Irish Times

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Matt Moran said that Sean Quinn did not seem to fully understand what he was doing as he failed to stick to agreements and his own previous commitments:

Matt Moran, Anglo's former chief financial officer, said the businessman ( Sean Quinn)failed to stick with a plan to 'dribble' his stake on the market months before the bank lent money to its top customers money to buy them out.

A jury in the trial of three Anglo executives saw an email from Mr Moran describing a conversation with the Quinn Group's chief executive Liam McCaffrey.

"It was my understanding from conversations with Liam McCaffrey that Sean Quinn did not want to proceed with the sale," Mr Moran told the court.

Mr Moran, who has been granted immunity from prosecution, was giving evidence for a third day at the trial of Sean FitzPatrick (65), from Greystones, Co Wicklow; Patrick Whelan (51), of Malahide, Co Dublin; and William McAteer (63), of Rathgar in Dublin.

The men have pleaded not guilty to 16 charges of unlawfully providing financial assistance to individuals for the purpose of buying shares in Anglo Irish Bank in 2008. The Irish Independent