Former chief of collapsed Anglo Irish Bank Seán FitzPatrick dies

Seán FitzPatrick, the banker who got here to symbolise Eire’s Celtic Tiger boom-and-bust, has died of a coronary heart assault aged 73.

The blunt-speaking financier, who constructed Anglo Irish Bank into a financial juggernaut that spectacularly crashed after reckless loans and doubtful accounting practices, was rushed to hospital final week after out of the blue taking sick. He died on Monday, in accordance with his household.

FitzPatrick remained unrepentant about his position in precipitating a disaster that plunged the banking sector into a €64bn bailout after the worldwide monetary disaster uncovered a colossal liquidity crunch.

“He went from being the poster boy of the Celtic Tiger to the whipping boy of the nation’s crash,” Simon Carswell, writer of Anglo Republic, Contained in the Financial institution that Broke Eire, informed the Monetary Occasions. “He was the symbol of Eire’s banking-driven growth and bust.”

FitzPatrick — often called “Seánie” to his associates and “Fitzie” behind his again at work — joined what grew into Eire’s third-biggest financial institution in 1974. He swiftly rose to the highest because the financial institution expanded, operating Anglo Irish Financial institution Company as chief government from 1986 to 2005 and chair from 2005 till leaving in shame in 2008 because the financial institution fell aside.

He had championed a speedy mortgage approval mannequin that noticed Anglo Irish Financial institution, then the nation’s third largest establishment, behind AIB and Financial institution of Eire, rocket from a valuation of about €600m in 2000 to greater than €13bn in 2007 at its peak.

Property builders, whose flashy tasks have been reworking Eire from the mid-Nineties to the mid-2000s in a interval that earned the nation the Celtic Tiger moniker, grew to become the financial institution’s largest prospects. Anglo Irish earned a popularity because the builders’ favorite establishment because the nation’s economic system skyrocketed.

However his success speedily unravelled. It emerged that FitzPatrick had for a number of years been concealing tens of thousands and thousands of euros in private loans by shunting them off the books — a apply that was deemed immoral, however not unlawful. Not like his successor as chief government, David Drumm, and different senior banking figures, FitzPatrick was by no means convicted or jailed.

He was acquitted in 2017 after a 127-day trial of felony costs regarding allegedly deceptive auditors.

Patrick Honohan, central financial institution director on the time of the crash, stated in 2015 it was “unwise, rather than criminal” actions by bankers that precipitated the disaster, and that their “unrestrained and reckless” behaviour had been behind Eire’s financial crash.

When the monetary disaster bit, Anglo Irish’s reckless lending caught up with it and it was dropping €1bn a day, Carswell stated, prompting the federal government to step in. FitzPatrick had by then made a fortune amassing inventory within the financial institution, although he was declared bankrupt in 2010.

The Irish Occasions newspaper stated the financial institution “misplaced cash the old style means by making one crappy loan after another”. It wanted a €29.3bn bailout — almost half the entire that was pumped into the nation’s banks to cease them from going beneath.

However FitzPatrick informed an interviewer in 2011 he couldn’t “say sorry with any sincerity or decency” for a banking collapse he blamed on international issues.

A rugby participant in his youth and an avid golfer, FitzPatrick stored a low profile in recent times.

Many figures within the Irish monetary world declined to remark for concern of talking sick of the useless. In the end, “he was an virtually tragic determine, for himself and the nation”, stated one.

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