Statement by CRH plc
08 July 2002
REGARDING ANSBACHER (CAYMAN) LIMITED
In CRH’s 2001 Annual Report issued in April 2002, shareholders were advised that a Report arising from official enquiries in Ireland into the affairs of Ansbacher (Cayman) Limited was expected to be published within a matter of months. The official Report was made public on Saturday 6 July 2002.
The Report has found that Ansbacher (Cayman) Limited carried on a banking business in Ireland without holding a licence to do so and that the late Mr. J.D. Traynor, a former non-executive Chairman of CRH plc from 1987 until 1994, facilitated the carrying on of that banking business for the period 1971 to 1994. For the period 1989 to 1994 he used his office in CRH’s Registered Office in Dublin, which is separately located from CRH’s Group Headquarters, to facilitate these activities. This was unauthorised and was carried out without the knowledge of CRH. Mr. Traynor wrongfully used CRH facilities and personnel under his direct control. The Report has concluded that CRH did not knowingly assist Mr. Traynor in carrying out these activities. This conclusion is consistent with the findings from CRH’s own internal investigations of the issue and previous statements made by CRH.
The Report states that CRH must bear some responsibility for the fact that the activities of Ansbacher continued for the period 1989 to 1994. This appears to be based on the assumption that the Company’s systems of corporate governance could have discovered these activities. However, the reality is that the information contained in the Report was not available to the Company at that time and these activities were not detected.
It is a matter of great regret to CRH that its former Chairman should have misused its facilities and personnel in this manner. This represented a grave breach of trust by Mr. Traynor. Following the emergence of this issue the Code of Conduct for the Office of Chairman, which has always been a non-executive office, has been formalised within CRH. In addition, an independent review of CRH’s corporate governance was commissioned. As advised in our 1999 Annual Report this review confirmed that a strong culture of governance and professionalism exists at Board level, in line with best international practice and that this is reflected across the organisation.
Contact CRH at Dublin: +353 (0) 1 404 1000
|Liam O’Mahony ||Chief Executive |
|Harry Sheridan ||Finance Director |
|Myles Lee ||General Manager - Finance |