Anglo signage taken down
Published 20/04/2011 | 15:44
One of the most notorious symbols of the Celtic Tiger era has been torn down.
Logos and signs on Anglo-Irish Bank offices have been removed, including from above the Stephen's Green headquarters in Dublin.
The nationalised lender, which is costing the taxpayer at least €30bn, is to be rebranded and renamed in coming weeks.
Passers-by on Stephen's Green blasted car horns, others roared "Praise Jesus" and many clapped as they walked in front of the landmark to reckless banking.
Economist Colm McCarthy passed nearby shortly after publishing his advice on the sale of State assets to boost Government funds.
"Sure they could sell the signs - they'd be worth a fortune," he remarked.
The dismantling in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford means Anglo no longer has any visible presence on Ireland's high streets.
A spokeswoman for the bank said several requests have been made to put the signage up for auction for charity.
"The signs are going to be stored in a vault in the bank. There are no firm plans on what to do with them," she said.
Mike Aynsley, Anglo's group chief executive, was handed the Anglo logo as he stood at the front door of the former HQ and watched the dismantling.
"This organisation is radically different today from the bank I joined in September 2009," he said.
"We have undertaken a root-and-branch overhaul which positions the bank to wind down our portfolio of loans with the highest levels of efficiency.
"The board and management team have overseen the bank's transformation from a high-octane property lender to a dedicated asset recovery bank working in the public interest."
The new name and brand will be announced once it takes complete control of another bust lender, Irish Nationwide. It is costing the taxpayer €5.4bn.
The two institutions are being merged under a huge bank restructuring plan, a key plank of the EU/IMF bail-out loan deal.
The new institution will eventually be wound down over time.
Mr Aynsley said: "The organisation now has a fundamentally different mandate, structure and culture as it focuses exclusively on getting the maximum return for the Irish taxpayer.
"Removing the old Anglo signage is a step towards reflecting this new reality which will be further developed following the acquisition of INBS."
Under the restructuring, 120,000 Anglo deposit customers had accounts holding €8.6bn moved to Allied Irish Banks. About €3.6bn of deposits held by 160,000 Irish Nationwide customers were moved to Irish Life and Permanent.
Anglo reported a loss of €17.7bn for 2010.