Seán FitzPatrick (25 May 1948 – 8 November 2021) was an Irish banker who was chief executive and then chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, until he resigned in December 2008 amid mounting revelations over hidden loans. The scandal precipitated a collapse of the bank's share price which in turn led to its nationalisation on 21 January 2009. He was declared bankrupt in 2010.
|Died||8 November 2021(aged 73)|
|Known for||Chairman of Anglo Irish Bank|
FitzPatrick was born in County Wicklow, Ireland. His father was a small farmer and his mother was a civil servant who left the workforce to raise her children. FitzPatrick's only sibling, his older sister, Joyce, would go on to become the sixth President of National College of Ireland. FitzPatrick was educated locally at Presentation College, Bray. Following this he attended University College Dublin in 1966 to study commerce. In 1969 he joined Reynolds, McCarron & O'Connor an accountancy practice, and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He married his wife Caitríona in 1974. 
FitzPatrick joined the Irish Bank of Commerce in 1974. By 1980, this bank had merged with City of Dublin Bank and the new entity acquired Anglo Irish Bank. The bank appointed Fitzpatrick as the head of its new subsidiary, Anglo Irish Bank. In 1986, the City of Dublin bank renamed itself "Anglo Irish Bank", and Fitzpatrick was appointed Chief Executive. He served in this position until 2005, when he became the bank's Chairman.
He transformed the bank from a small Dublin-focused lender into a national competitor to Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland. The Bank cultivated a close relationship with its clients, speeded up credit applications and expansion into business lending that the main banks would not support. The business prospered and the economic boom in Ireland ensured strong profitability for Anglo Irish, and it was valued at EUR€13 billion. The bank also expanded into markets in the United Kingdom and United States. Assets under management grew from $4.5 billion in 1998 to $136 billion in 2008. The balance sheet grew by, on average, 36% annually, above the 20% regulators usually regard as unwise. However, over the time the bank had become heavily concentrated in property development lending.
FitzPatrick was appointed to a number of positions by Fianna Fáil politicians. In 1998 the then Minister for the Environment and Local Government Noel Dempsey appointed FitzPatrick to the Dublin Docklands Development Authority where he served until 2007. FitzPatrick was also appointed a non-executive director to the Irish airline Aer Lingus in March 2004 by the prominent Fianna Fáil politician and then Minister for Transport Séamus Brennan.
In an RTÉ Radio 1 interview on The Marian Finucane Show in October 2008, FitzPatrick denied critics' charges that the bank had been reckless in making too many big loans to property developers as Ireland's property bubble grew. While saying he was grateful for the state's help, he refused to offer taxpayers an apology, saying, "The cause of our problems are global, so I can't say sorry with any degree of sincerity and decency. But I can say thank you." FitzPatrick addressed the government in another speech on the same day and recommended cutting spending on what he called the "sacred cows" of Irish society: children, the elderly and health care.
In December 2008, FitzPatrick resigned as chairman when details of secret loans he had taken out with the bank were revealed; the resulting furore also swept from office Ireland's chief banking regulator, Patrick Neary. FitzPatrick, while Anglo Irish chairman, had borrowed more than €100 million from the bank and hid the loans from auditors for eight years. The former multi-millionaire banker defaulted on the loans following a series of major business setbacks, valuable shareholding in Anglo Irish Bank once worth €80 million is now worthless followed by a failed oil venture in Africa and a stake in a casino in Asia stalled. His property investments in Ireland and Hungary were also hit by the international slump.
Both FitzPatrick and the bank said in statements on his resignation that his handling of the loans was neither illegal nor a breach of Irish banking regulations. FitzPatrick stated that "It is clear to me, on reflection, that it was inappropriate and unacceptable from a transparency point of view." And an apologetic new chairman Donal O’Connor told shareholders that FitzPatrick's loans were "wrong and unacceptable". The following day, headlines in the Irish papers illuminated the popular mood: "Seán FitzPatrick Should Go To Jail" competed with "If FitzPatrick Lived in New York, He'd Have Been Arrested By Now".
Arrests and acquittalEdit
On 16 March 2010 Gardaí were given a warrant to search Seán Fitzpatrick's house. FitzPatrick was arrested at around 06:30 on 18 March 2010 at his house in Greystones, County Wicklow, by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation. He was questioned under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984. Under this he was able to be held for up to six hours without charge, but this was later extended. The Gardaí were also assisting another investigation by the Director of Corporate Enforcement for breach of company law. The Gardaí confirmed in a statement that "There is an extensive Garda investigation under way, eager to see justice take its course" In most western countries it is illegal to run a business and seek investment while insolvent. It was not confirmed by the Gardaí at first if FitzPatrick was the person in their custody, but by an independent source and RTÉ. Following the arrest, without naming FitzPatrick, the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan commented on the situation. After more than 24 hours of questioning, he was released without charge on 19 March 2010. A file was prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
On Friday 9 December 2011, Fitzpatrick was arrested a second time by Gardaí, allegedly as part of an investigation into "Financial Irregularities at a Financial Institution". On 24 July 2012, Fitzpatrick was arrested a third time by Gardaí, allegedly as part of an investigation into "Financial Irregularities at a Financial Institution"  He was charged with 16 offences by Gardaí attached to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement relating to his role in advising on and lending millions to a golden circle of investors to inflate, falsely, Anglo's share price.
After the ODCE's investigation methods were found to be flawed, on 23 May 2017 the judge in Fitzpatrick's trial directed that he be acquitted of all charges.
Irish Life and Permanent transaction 2008Edit
In 2010, a report by John Purcell, a special investigator, stated that Fitzpatrick, David Drumm, and former Anglo Irish Bank finance director Willie McAteer and Peter Fitzpatrick, former director of finance at Irish Life and Permanent had 'prima facie' cases to answer in relation to their roles in dealings at Anglo Irish Bank and transactions to Irish Life and Permanent. Purcell submitted his report to the Complaints Committee of the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board on 14 December 2010, and forwarded to the board's Disciplinary Committee. Fitzpatrick was disbarred as a Chartered Accountant in 2019.
Bankruptcy and deathEdit
He died on 8 November 2021 after a short illness. He was 73.
- Sean FitzPatrick Anglo Irish Bank loan book http://www.sneachta.org/index.php?title=Sean_FitzPatrick
- "Implosion of a legend in his own lunchtime". Irish Independent. 21 March 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- "Lifting a lid on Anglo's links to the docklands". Irish Independent. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- "Bankruptcy hasn't curbed luxury lifestyle of 'outsider' Sean FitzPatrick". Irish Independent. 2 December 2012.
- Brennan, Joe. "Seán FitzPatrick timeline: from a dairy farmer's son to Anglo chief". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
- Lynch, David J. (30 January 2009). "Irish stand united in hatred of banker Sean FitzPatrick". USA Today.
- Carswell, Simon (10 November 2021). "Seán FitzPatrick, the poster child turned whipping boy of Irish banking". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
- Murphy, C. (2009)'Seanie's plaything? Disgraced banker Sean Fitzpatrick is inextricably linked to the Docklands Authority. Should we be worried?' (online) Available at Herald.ie Accessed 26 April 2010.
- Aer Lingus Group Plc (2006) Annual Report 2005 (Online) Available at AirLingus.com Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine (last accessed 26 April 2010)
- Department of Transport (2004)Transport Minister Announces Appointments to Board of Aer Lingus [online] Available at Transport.ie Archived 15 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine (last accessed 26 April 2010
- Marian Finucane; Sean FitzPatrick (October 2008). Sean FitzPatrick on "The Marian Finucane Show" (MP3) (Radio Broadcast). Donnybrook, Dublin: RTÉ Radio 1. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Douglas, Lucy (2010). "Boom, bust, bailout". Business Management Magazine. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- Smyth, Sam (1 October 2009). "FitzPatrick not paying off €100m loan interest". Irish Independent. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Aldrick, Philip (19 December 2008). "Anglo Irish chairman Sean FitzPatrick resigns over 'inappropriate' loan". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Pogatchnik, Shawn (19 December 2008). "Irish bank leader quits over huge hidden loans". NBC News. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
- Sharrock, David (17 January 2009). "Investors attack Anglo Irish's loans to directors". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
At a special meeting at Dublin’s Mansion House, scheduled before the Government’s statement on Thursday evening that it was nationalising Anglo Irish, Donal O’Connor, the new chairman, apologised for the manner in which loans to Sean FitzPatrick, the former chairman and chief executive, that at one stage in 2007 reached €122 million, were handled, saying that it was wrong and unacceptable.
- David J. Lynch (30 January 2009). "Irish stand united in hatred of banker Seán FitzPatrick". USA Today. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Keane, Conor (12 January 2010). "Greencore chief's pay packet jumps to €1.16m". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
And disgraced former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick was paid €13,000 in directors fees for his months on the board before he resigned in December of 2008.
- Goodbody, Will (9 November 2021). "Seán FitzPatrick - the man behind Anglo Irish Bank". Retrieved 14 November 2021.
He also left the boards of Aer Lingus and Smurfit Kappa where he was serving as a director.
- "Experian plc - Resignation of Non-Executive Director". SEC.report. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
- "Chairman's loan scandal tips Anglo Irish to record low". 18 December 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
- Conor Lally (18 March 2010). "Former Anglo chairman Seán FitzPatrick arrested". The Irish Times. The Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Former Anglo chief FitzPatrick arrested by fraud squad". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- David Jolly (18 March 2010). "Police Said to Arrest Former Head of Irish Bank". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Sean FitzPatrick held in Anglo fraud inquiry". RTÉ News. RTÉ. 18 March 2010. Archived from the original on 22 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Padraic Halpin; Andras Gergely (18 March 2010). "Police arrest Anglo Irish Bank's former chairman". Reuters. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Irish police fraud squad arrests ex-bank boss". Agence France-Presse via France24. 18 March 2010. Archived from the original on 31 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Hazel Tyldesley (18 March 2010). "Fraud Squad Questions Former Irish Banker". Sky News. BSkyB. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Simon Carswell; Conor Lally; Steven Carroll (20 March 2010). "FitzPatrick makes plan to protect himself from creditors". The Irish Times. The Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
- "tweet regarding second arrest of Fitzpatrick". RTÉ News. 9 December 2011.
- "tweet regarding third arrest of Fitzpatrick". RTÉ News. 24 July 2012.
- "Sean FitzPatrick bailed after 16 fraud offence charges". Independent. 24 July 2012.
- Brennan, Declan (23 May 2017). "Sean FitzPatrick acquitted on all counts after direction of trial judge". Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
- "'Cases to answer' over Anglo". The Irish Times. 12 December 2010.
- Daly, Susan. "Sean FitzPatrick and David Drumm face disciplinary tribunal in new year". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
- Goodbody, Will (9 November 2021). "Former Anglo Irish Bank CEO Seán FitzPatrick dies". Cite journal requires
- "FitzPatrick due to be declared bankrupt". 12 July 2010.
- "Sean FitzPatrick is declared bankrupt". RTÉ News. 12 July 2010.
- Anglo Irish chairman Seán FitzPatrick resigns over 'inappropriate' loan, Philip Aldrick, Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2008
- Ireland to restrict accounts of big Anglo debtors, Reuters.com, 18 January 2009