independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Moran keeps mum on all things Anglo

Matt Moran was chief financial officer with Anglo Irish Bank in the final years before it collapsed, costing the State up to €30bn.

He was educated at St Gerald's College, Castlebar, Co Mayo, between 1984 and 1990, and his parents for many decades ran Rocky's Pub, just across the road from Taoiseach Enda Kenny's constituency office.

Mr Kenny undoubtedly knew the Moran family, even if both men have declined to comment on how well they were acquainted.

Mr Moran joined Anglo in 2002 and rose to become its chief financial officer. He was one of a group of young buccaneering bankers who formed around David Drumm when he was made chief executive in 2005.

Mr Drumm wanted to double the size of Anglo in under three years, and he needed men like Moran to help him achieve his goal.

For a while it worked, and Anglo was named by consultants Oliver Wyman as the best small bank in the world in 2007 in a glittering ceremony in Davos, Switzerland.

Then the credit crunch came, and Anglo's share price started its dizzying descent. During this time, Mr Moran can be heard several times on the Anglo Tapes turning the air blue under pressure.

In early 2008 as the world's banks started to run out of cash, he was recorded discussing Sean Quinn – then the country's richest man – who had taken a massive punt on Anglo, with John Bowe, the bank's head of treasury.

"[Quinn] is down just over a bill [€1bn]," Mr Bowe tells Mr Moran on the tapes, "Anybody even f***ing listening to that. It is frightening."

"The market is bigger than any man. It is the great leveller," Mr Moran replies.

"Yeah, it is, isn't it?" Mr Bowe says.

"You stupid c**t [Quinn]. He really put us at risk," Mr Moran whispers back.

In a second tape, this one recorded in September 2008, two months before the "Enda K" emails, Mr Moran is recorded discussing the bank's desperate struggle to get fresh funds.

He and Mr Bowe joke about how they planned to raise €5bn from a British fund manager.

"I can get a bit of drink into him. I might say to him I'd like about €5bn before the 30th [Anglo's year end]," Mr Moran says to Mr Bowe, who laughs.

"Get him to sign the beer mat," replies Mr Bowe, who asks: "Do you think he could give us a one-night stand?"

"If I can promise him there's no STD out of it," says Mr Moran.

This wild conversation is in marked contrast to Mr Moran's calm November emails to Beverley Cooper Flynn, in which he reassures her that Anglo is strong "versus other European peers" and in a "prudent" scenario would lose only about €500m over the next six years while making profits of €10.3bn.

Mr Moran is currently CEO of Lombard International Assurance in Luxembourg. He has for several years refused to comment on Anglo, and declined again last week.

Irish Independent

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