Business Anglo Tapes

Saturday 23 August 2014

Enda Kenny: the Anglo connection

Anglo emails reveal: 'Enda says we are to be offshoot of BoI' 'Bev said she would update me on discussions with Lenihan'

TOM LYONS and DANIEL McCONNELL

Published 21/07/2013 | 05:00

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BANK CLAIMS: Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Beverley Flynn

ANGLO Irish Bank correspondence has revealed claims by a senior figure in the bank that Enda Kenny, the current Taoiseach, briefed him less than three months before the bank was nationalised in January 2009.

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Matt Moran, chief financial officer with Anglo, claims in the emails to Anglo chief executive David Drumm that Mr Kenny rang him twice on November 17 and November 18 to brief him on both Fine Gael and the then Fianna Fail-led government strategy.

Mr Moran was a central figure in Anglo Irish Bank at the time, and was involved in dealing with Sean Quinn who he refers to on the Anglo Tapes as a "stupid c**t".

The former Anglo executive also writes about being in regular contact with former Fianna Fail TD Beverley Flynn.

He writes about "conversations" with Ms Flynn, and how she would update him on discussions with then Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.

Mr Moran is from Mr Kenny and Ms Flynn's home town of Castlebar, Co Mayo. His parents ran a pub opposite the Taoiseach's constituency office there. He now runs a multi-billion euro financial institution in Luxembourg.

A spokesman for Mr Kenny yesterday refused to specifically address five detailed questions from the Sunday Independent relating to the "Enda K" emails.

In a short statement, he said: "Any contacts between Fine Gael and the banks during the banking crisis were aimed at highlighting the impact that the continuing uncertainty about the banking system and its impact on credit availability was having on businesses and jobs."

He said he would not be adding to the statement.

Separately, on another occasion, Justice Minister Alan Shatter called for Fianna Fail to "tell us what they know" about "direct" contacts with Anglo.

These email claims by Mr Moran that Mr Kenny was briefing Anglo could prove politically embarrassing to the Taoiseach, who only two weeks ago alleged there was an "axis of collusion" between Fianna Fail and "Anglo bankers".

Mr Kenny has admitted he had the "doubtful privilege" of meeting Anglo's management after the bank guarantee at the end of September 2008, but he did not disclose if there were other contacts – as the "Enda K" emails appear to indicate.

The emails are wide-ranging in their claims about what the current Taoiseach was telling Mr Moran.

In one email, dated November 19, 2008, Mr Moran tells his boss, Mr Drumm, that "Enda" told him that the State was considering telling Bank of Ireland to take over Anglo to prevent it from collapsing. This morsel was being considered by the State around that time, but it was not known to beleaguered ordinary shareholders in Anglo, which was then still trading on the stock exchange.

"Enda says we are to be an 'offshoot' of BoI," Mr Moran told Drumm in a brief email.

In a second, longer email sent the day before, Mr Moran tells Mr Drumm that "Enda K" is keeping him in the loop not only with what was going on in the corridors of the Dail but also within Fine Gael.

"Enda K called," Mr Moran tells Mr Drumm. "Said that today a lot of rumour circulating Leinster Hse concerning deal with BoI (Bank of Ireland) and ILP (Irish Life & Permanent)."

At the time, it was true – but not known to the market – that the State was considering merging Bank of Ireland and IL&P to create a stronger super-bank.

"Also some 'noise' about Anglo but nothing specific," Mr Moran says Mr Kenny told him.

"Getting very rough on the ground for businesses. Said [Richard] Bruton [the then Fine Gael Finance spokesman] issued a statement this afternoon pushing for a bank recap."

Again, Mr Bruton had issued just such a statement a few hours before Mr Moran's email at 8.24pm.

This same email, subject line "conversations", then turns to Ms Flynn, a former banker turned TD from Mayo who earlier that year had been re-admitted to Fianna Fail after a spell as an independent.

"Separately, I traded messages with Beverley. Her last message this evening asked that we speak in the morning. She said she would update me on discussions with Lenihan."

An earlier email to Ms Flynn on November 5, 2008 thanks her for meeting him that day.

Mr Moran sends her a briefing note on guarantee schemes and capital support by states for banks prepared by BNP Paribas indicating that this was what they had been discussing earlier that day.

In another email, he sends Ms Flynn internal Anglo projections that the bank will make €10.2bn between 2008 and 2013 and lose only €340m because of the credit crunch.

These figures are "actual but not yet released to the market", Mr Moran tells "Bev" before telling her to be "prudent" – the bank might lose only another €150m on top of its projections.

"Thanks Matt, Bev," the politician replies.

Mr Drumm did manage to get a meeting with the finance minister in mid-December 2008 – on the Anglo Tapes he admits "I'll probably punch Lenihan" out of frustration as the bank tottered on the brink of collapse.

It is not known if this was the meeting that Mr Moran believed Ms Flynn was trying to arrange for the bankers or another one.

Ms Flynn did not respond to voice messages or texts on Friday or yesterday.

Mr Moran was sent a detailed email on Friday by the Sunday Independent, asking about his claims of political contacts with both Mr Kenny and Ms Cooper Flynn.

"Matt has no comment to make at this time," a spokesperson for Mr Moran said.

Irish Independent

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