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Former Financial Services Regulatory Patrick Neary arriving at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this morning. Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
Anglo Trial

Regulator ‘didn’t think it was appropriate’ to ask Sean Quinn about Anglo stake

Former CEO of the Financial Regulator Pat Neary met Sean Quinn but ‘didn’t ask him straight-up’ about concerns.

Updated 23.22pm

FORMER FINANCIAL REGULATOR Pat Neary met Sean Quinn in January 2008 and “didn’t ask him straight-up” about his holdings in Anglo Irish Bank despite knowing about concerns since the previous Autumn, a court heard today.

Patrick Neary was speaking at the trial of former Anglo directors Seán Fitzpatrick, Willie McAteer and Pat Whelan at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Neary said today the meeting was arranged by Quinn himself but it was intended to be informal:

My secretary got a call from Quinn, who said he was in town and he’d like to drop in for an informal chat.

Neary said that Quinn “outlined the strength of Quinn and Quinn Direct and said that it was an “extremely profitable group”.

Neary told the court that his meeting with Quinn occurred a few months after he had met with Anglo CEO David Drumm

Neary said today that the meeting with Drumm in the Autumn of 2007. It was set up at the request of Drumm who wanted to discuss rumours that were circulating about Contract for Difference (CDF) holdings in Anglo.

CFDs are indirect holdings in a company based on share price and Quinn’s CFDs in Anglo have been a central focus of the trial.

“It was unusual because CEOs don’t usually come to see me in person,” said Neary.

Neary said that Drumm was concerned about the rumours and “wanted to know if IFSRA (Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority) had any information about that”.

Neary said that the rumours at the time were that Quinn had built up a CFD holding equating to a bout 10 per cent of shares in Anlgo.

Quinn’s holding was in fact larger that that and Neary told the court today that he believes Drumm may have been aware of that during the meeting.

“I understand anecdotally that Drumm was aware it was 28.4 per cent but he chose not to tell me,” he said.

Under questioning from defence counsel Brendan Grehan, Neary said that he has never made such claims before.

Neary was then pressed on why, if he was aware of Drumm’s concerns, he did not ask Quinn about them during their January meeting.

“I didn’t ask him straight-up,” said Neary. “He indicated that he had CFD holdings in Anglo and Ryanair but that they weren’t large and he didn’t intend to hold them.

Mr Quinn was entitled as an individual to have investments as he sees fit and I didn’t think it was appropriate (to ask) .

Neary was testifying at the trial of  McAteer, Fitzpatrick and Whelan for providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals to buy shares in Anglo.

First published 14.32pm

Read: Anglo trial hears Seán Fitzpatrick regretted ‘not being more involved’ in Maple 10 deal >

Read: The three little letters at the centre of the Anglo trial >

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