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Further Anglo Irish scandal fallout.

Summary: A "golden circle" of investors at the centre of the Anglo Irish Bank scandal got 151 million euros (Au133m) more than originally estimated.

A "golden circle" of investors at the centre of the Anglo Irish Bank scandal got 151 million euros (Au133m) more than originally estimated.

Donal O'Connor, executive chairman of the now nationalised bank, said ten unidentified "long-standing customers" were given 451 million euros (Au397m) to buy a stake in the bank.

It was previously thought they were loaned 300 million euros (Au264m) for a 10 per cent stake, in a scandal that has rocked the banking industry and the Irish coalition Government.

Mr O'Connor, who replaced disgraced former chairman Sean FitzPatrick, said the bank can go after a quarter of the outstanding debts from the golden circle. Some 83 million euro (Au73m) has already been paid back, he said.

"On behalf of the bank, I sincerely apologise to our customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders for this situation," Mr O'Connor said.

An annual report showed former chief executive David Drumm, who resigned in December, was paid more than 2 million euros(Au1.8m) in the year to the end of September last, down from 3.2 million euros (Au2.8m) the previous year.

Mr FitzPatrick was paid almost 540,000 euros (Au476,000) for the same period.

Earlier, Ireland's Bank of Scotland boss became the latest top executive to quit during a tumultuous period for the country's banking industry.

Mark Duffy, who presided over the bank for 16 years and saw the lender grow from a 19-person operation to a 1,600-strong group, said the sale of parent company HBOS to Lloyds TSB presented him with a "natural point" to leave.

He had been in discussions with the bank, which trades as Halifax in Ireland, since last year, and said: "There is no story or big reason, just a personal desire to take some leave and do something else."

Mr Duffy, who will stay on until April to allow for his successor Joe Higgins to take over, has often voiced criticism of Irish banking, hitting out at anti-competitive practices and lack of value for customers.

Last week saw the resignation of Irish Life & Permanent chief executive Denis Casey, while Irish Nationwide Building Society chairman Michael Walsh left his position on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, retiring Bank of Ireland chief executive Brian Goggin is due to be replaced next month while Financial Regulator Patrick Neary also retired on January 31 although he is staying on in an advisory role until his successor is appointed.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Feb 23, 2009
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