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Bloxham partner who helped bring down the firm won't pay a cent in fines

Tadhg Gunnell has been banned from similar roles for 10 years.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

ONE OF THE heads of Bloxham Stockbrokers when the 150-year-old firm collapsed after serious “misrepresentations” in the company’s books has been banned from running another financial firm for the next decade.

But a fine of €105,000 the Central Bank said it would have imposed on former Bloxham general partner Tadhg Gunnell will be waived after he was declared bankrupt earlier this year.

Bloxham, once one of Ireland’s biggest stockbrokers, collapsed in mid-2012 owing millions to creditors – including €2.3 million due to Revenue.

Gunnell was head of finance and compliance at the firm between December 2007 and May 2012 when he was responsible for presenting a false picture of its health to the regulator.

The firm’s balance sheet was propped up with assets that artificially inflated its financial safety net by over €5 million during the period.

The Central Bank ordered the firm to stop trading in May 2012 before it was put into liquidation.

Bloxham stockbrokers. Irelands oldest Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Bankrupt

Gunnell filed for bankruptcy with debts of at least €2 million this year after Danske Bank sued him and other former Bloxham partners.

The court case stemmed from over €34 million in loans the bank issued during an earlier buyout of the firm.

Gunnell admitted to the Central Bank he had filed incorrect accounts with the regulator and misrepresented the firm’s financial position.

A statement issued on his behalf today said he welcomed his settlement with the Central Bank which he had “cooperated with … fully during the course of their investigation”.

(He) now hopes that this investigation will assist the (Central Bank) in continuing their investigations into Bloxham Stockbrokers and those who were also responsible for the management of the company,” the statement said.

Central Bank enforcement director Derville Rowland said the regulator’s accounting rules were “at the core of the stability of our financial system”.

Under the legislation, all investment firms are required to hold sufficient levels of regulatory capital to cushion the firm against potential losses,” he said.

First published 2.20pm

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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