Former bank chief set for bankruptcy

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The former head of Anglo-Irish Bank Sean FitzPatrick is expected to be officially declared bankrupt on Monday, it was confirmed today.

Lawyers for the ex-banker, who owes the now nationalised lender more than 100 million euro (£83 million), applied to have a special court protection blocking the move lifted.

The Irish Republic's High Court had given Mr FitzPatrick several months to put his financial affairs in order and strike a repayment deal with creditors.

However, in a short hearing just before 1pm, Justice Brian McGovern agreed to lift the protection from bankruptcy and cleared the way for Mr FitzPatrick to declare himself unable to pay debts on Monday.

The ex-banker, who resigned from Anglo in December 2008 in a storm over directors' loans, was not in court.

A judge will officially seal the decision at the hearing, the Courts Service said.

Mr FitzPatrick has been embroiled in delicate negotiations with banks, including his former employer Anglo-Irish, since January 2009 when the institution was put into the hands of the Irish state.

It is understood Anglo-Irish blocked a proposed settlement deal with the banker's creditors.

He is also at the centre of a massive fraud and corporate mismanagement investigation by garda and watchdog Paul Appleby, the director of Corporate Enforcement.

Mr FitzPatrick was arrested in March and questioned about a so-called bed and breakfast transfer of 7.45 billion euro (£6.2 billion) in deposits between Irish Life Permanent and Anglo in 2008. The scheme was devised to effectively conceal the state of the bank's books. No charges have been brought.

The nationalisation of Anglo-Irish is ultimately expected to cost the state more than 20 billion euro (£16.7 billion).

Mr FitzPatrick's hearing will be listed in the High Court bankruptcy list for Monday. It is expected to be a public hearing with creditors able to outline their views on the debts.

It is understood the action would have been avoided if Mr FitzPatrick had secured support for a repayment deal from institutions holding 60% of his total debts.

It has been reported that the banker offered his home in Co Wicklow and part of his pension to repay lenders over time.