Former Anglo executives David Drumm and Seán FitzPatrick: under investigation

THE probe by former Comptroller & Auditor General John Purcell into the conduct of ex-Anglo Irish Bank executives will not be completed until the end of next month, the Sunday Tribune has learned.

The latest delay in delivering the report is the third since Purcell was asked by the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board (Carb), which is the regulatory arm of Chartered Accountants Ireland, to investigate the activities of its members in 2009.

The report was scheduled to have been completed late last year but was put back to February because the scope of the investigation had widened. Purcell had been expected to finish it this month.

Purcell was initially asked to investigate the circumstances of former Anglo Irish chairman Seán FitzPatrick's loans from the bank, and also the role of its former chief executive, David Drumm, and of its finance boss, Willie McAteer.

The inquiry has since been widened to cover Anglo's deposit-switching transactions with Irish Life & Permanent, and loans it gave to the so-called "golden circle" of favoured clients to buy a 10% stake in the bank.

Purcell is also looking into the roles of the bank's former auditors, Ernst & Young, and former Irish Life finance director Peter Fitzpatrick.

A spokesman for Carb declined to say whether Purcell has interviewed Seán FitzPatrick. The former chairman was arrested and questioned as part of the garda criminal investigation in March.

Carb has set aside €1m to cover the cost of Purcell's six-strong investigating team. If he finds preliminary evidence that the body's by-laws were broken, there will be another inquiry, which will be held in public. The body can ban or fine any member found to have broken its by-laws.

Anglo is also under investigation by the Director of Corporate Enforcement. These inquiries are expected to wrap up by the end of the year.