Business Irish

Thursday 14 December 2017

Banks unmoved by Anglo's overtures

Shane Ross

Anglo Irish Banks is likely to receive the cold shoulder if it attempts to join those smaller financial institutions attempting to form a third force in Irish banking.

Following suggestions from Anglo Irish Bank director Alan Dukes last week, that the troubled bank might become a business bank and that it could then link up with EBS, Irish Nationwide and Permanent Tsb, there was a lukewarm response from potential suitors.

Irish Nationwide's new managing director Gerry McGinn insisted that "no talks had taken place" with the State-owned bank but would not comment on his appetite for a merger with Anglo.

Anglo is apparently attempting to sell itself as a business bank, but Irish Nationwide already has a business team and is unlikely to want duplication with Anglo.

Dave Guinane, chief executive of PTSB, which reported heavy losses last week, was equally emphatic that "at this stage a link-up is not likely. We have had no discussions with them."

EBS chief Fergus Murphy, the key player in the mating dance between the banks circling each other to form the third force, confirmed that positive discussions had taken place between EBS and Irish Nationwide but that he had engaged in no talks with Irish Life's PTSB banking arm. On the issue of linking with Anglo he said: "In the long term any permutations are possible but there has been no contact between the two banks".

But David McCarthy a director of PTSB's parent, Irish Life, last week raised the possibility of PTSB merging with Anglo and Ulster. It is known that Irish Life is anxious to unload its troubled banking offspring as soon as possible.

Other banking sources were emphatic that the Anglo brand was terminally damaged and that no combination of banks forming a third force would want to be infected by it.

Sunday Independent

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