Business Irish

Saturday 23 September 2017

Anglo bosses meeting EC's 'case team' to push for a speedy verdict

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

€70bn-plus

Anglo to transfer half its loan book to NAMA

ANGLO Irish Bank's top managers and officials from the Department of Finance will meet a European Commission "case team" later today as they push for a speedy verdict on the nationalised bank's business plan.

The Brussels meeting was confirmed in a chief executive's address sent to Anglo staff in recent days, which also reveals that National Irish Bank's legal head Dr Max Barrett has defected to become Anglo's company secretary.

Anglo submitted a business plan to Brussels on May 31 and is hoping to get the nod from the commission before officials take off on holidays in August, which could effectively put the plan on ice for a month.

Travel

In an email sent to staff last Friday, Anglo chief executive Mike Aynsley detailed plans to travel to Brussels today for an "introductory meeting and initial dialogue" with the European Commission "case team" that's reviewing the plan.

Mr Aynsley will be joined at the meeting by Anglo finance boss Marteen van Eden, Anglo corporate development head Tom Hunerson and "officials from the Department of Finance".

The delegation is expected to push the case for Anglo's 'good bank/bad bank' strategy.

Under the plan, a 'good bank' would be set up as a re-branded SME lender with a loan book of €12bn to €15bn.

The rest of Anglo's loan book would go into a 'bad bank' structure where it would be run down. Anglo is also transferring half its €70bn-plus loan book to NAMA.

At a recent Oireacthas committee meeting, Anglo argued that the 'good bank/bad bank' plan could cost the taxpayer €20bn less than winding down the bank immediately.

The Irish delegation may also face questions in Brussels on Anglo's plan to take control of Quinn Insurance as a means to collect on €2.8bn of loans held by the Quinn family and Quinn Group.

Mr Aynsley's recent email also reveals that Dr Barrett will take over as Anglo's company secretary on July 5, replacing Natasha Mercer who has spent 10 years at the bank.

Dr Barrett's most recent role is legal head at National Irish Bank.

His career also includes stints at McCann Fitzgerald and Rabobank Ireland, as well as "extensive" work abroad, according to Mr Aynsley's note.

Irish Independent

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