Former Anglo Irish boss arrested in fraud inquiry

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The Independent Online

Sean Fitzpatrick, the former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, was arrested by police in Dublin yesterday as part of a fraud inquiry at the now-nationalised bank.

Mr FitzPatrick, who is also a former chief executive of Anglo Irish, revealed in December 2008 that he had failed to disclose details of loans worth €84m (£75m) from the bank. The Irish government has announced a wide-ranging investigation into the collapse of the Irish banking system, although until Mr FitzPatrick's detention yesterday, no arrests had been made. "There is an extensive garda investigation under way," Irish police said in a statement yesterday, adding that it was "eager to see justice take its course".

The administration in Dublin spent €4bn (£3.6bn) supporting Anglo Irish before its nationalisation at the start of last year. The authorities have also been investigating claims that the bank used €7bn-worth (£6.3bn) of short-term deposits from Irish Life and Permanent, the bancassurer, to mask huge customer withdrawals.

Ireland's economy boomed in the years up to the start of the financial crisis, largely fuelled by a booming construction sector.

Anglo Irish carved out a niche in mortgages, funded through the wholesale-debt markets. The bank ran into huge trouble when these markets froze following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the US.