Publication statements 2020

Public Statements 2020

  • Exclusion of Mr William McAteer from membership of Chartered Accountants Ireland

    14/02/2020 11:08:42

    At a Disciplinary Tribunal of Chartered Accountants Ireland (‘the Institute’) convened in Dublin today (14th February 2020), a member, Mr William McAteer, accepted the facts of a formal complaint brought against him by the Institute’s Conduct Committee following the opinion certified by the Special Investigator, Mr John Purcell, that:

    William McAteer, being the Finance Director of Anglo Irish Bank plc, (hereafter “the Bank”) did in relation to the September 2008 transactions between the Bank and Irish Life and Permanent, and in relation to the failure to make appropriate disclosure of a loan by the Bank to him engaged in conduct which he was aware or ought to have been aware was inappropriate such as to bring discredit to himself, and the profession of accountancy.

    In light of the above, Mr McAteer accepted that the appropriate sanction to meet the gravity of his conduct was exclusion from membership of the Institute and he consented to this. Mr McAteer has further undertaken not to make any future application for reinstatement.

    In the circumstances the Disciplinary Tribunal made an Order excluding Mr. McAteer from Membership of Chartered Accountants Ireland. This is the ultimate sanction that the Disciplinary Tribunal can impose. In considering additional sanctions and penalties, the Disciplinary Tribunal noted representations regarding Mr McAteer’s financial position. It therefore accepted Mr McAteer’s offer of a contribution to costs of €15,000 plus VAT. Had the matter proceeded to a full hearing, costs would have been significantly in excess of this amount. Given Mr McAteer’s acceptance of the above matters, the Conduct Committee did not offer evidence in respect of another allegation set out in the Formal Complaint against Mr McAteer. Disciplinary matters in relation to Mr McAteer have now concluded.

    Note to Editors

    1. In 2009 the then Complaints Committee (now renamed Conduct Committee) of the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board appointed former Comptroller & Auditor General, Mr John Purcell, as its Special Investigator to consider matters relating to Anglo Irish Bank plc with a view to establishing whether such matters might render Mr McAteer liable to disciplinary action under the Institute’s Bye-laws and rules of professional conduct.
    2. In December 2010, following Mr Purcell’s certification that, in his opinion, there existed certain prima facie cases against Mr McAteer, the Complaints Committee referred matters relating to Mr McAteer, among other issues, to a Disciplinary Tribunal.
    3. In March 2011, such proceedings were suspended at the request of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions until the conclusion of certain State prosecutions relating to Anglo Irish Bank plc. This suspension was lifted in mid 2018 following conclusion of the State cases. At that stage, Chartered Accountants Ireland recommenced its consideration of this matter.
    4. The Disciplinary Tribunal is comprised of three members, only one of whom may be an accountant. In practice, such Tribunals are chaired by a legal professional. In considering appropriate monetary sanctions to impose on members and firms the Disciplinary Tribunal has regard to the sanction levels that applied at the time misconduct occurred. In 2009, the maximum monetary sanction was a fine of €30,000 per individual member or, in the case of a firm, per principal. Non-financial sanctions range from the ultimate sanction of exclusion from membership (reserved for the most serious cases) to a reprimand.

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