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Anglo board held 29 extra meetings as deposits fled ailing bank

The board of Anglo Irish Bank was forced to hold 29 unscheduled board meetings in 2010 so serious was the bank's funding and financial situation.

Irish banks suffered huge deposits outflows during 2010 and it is understood Anglo Irish was among the worst victims of this activity, with its deposits more than halving in one year.

The bank, nationalised in January 2009, is heavily dependent on funding from the Central Bank and other central banks and had its debt downgraded to junk status in 2010 around the time the IMF delegation was in Ireland.

Funding from central banks amounted to €45bn at the end of 2010 and Standard & Poor's reduced the debt to junk as the country was convulsed with talk of an IMF bailout package.

The board is chaired by former Finance Minister Alan Dukes, while the chief executive is Mike Aynsley.

Most company boards meet on a monthly basis, unless there is special business to be done. In 2010 Anglo's board were forced to meet 39 times in total, with 29 meetings set up to discuss "difficult market conditions that existed during the financial period''.

This included funding issues, capital matters, legacy-related matters and the bank's restructuring plan, the bank's annual report reveals.

Meanwhile Anglo Irish Bank is still unable to put a reliable value on properties it holds as security for overdue loans, even in the recovering UK property market.

The lender, nationalised in January 2009, claims in its latest results it is "impractical'' to get reliable values for Irish properties and the UK market remains too uncertain to get reliable prices for the collateral backing up loans there.

"Due to the continued dislocation in property markets and the lack of transactional activity over the period, it is impracticable for the bank to obtain reliable fair values for individual collateral held against some past due or impaired financial assets."

"However, declines in prices of approximately 60pc since the market peak for Irish commercial property reflected in certain market indices would appear to be a fair indicator of the scale of the decline in collateral values,'' it added.

During 2010, the UK property market had increased transactions, particularly in London and the southeast, but there there continued to be "dislocation between prime assets and the market for secondary and tertiary assets", said the bank.

"Therefore it is difficult to obtain reliable fair values for individual collateral held against UK past due or impaired assets,'' it pointed out.

Irish Independent