Business Irish

Saturday 20 July 2019

Former executive John Bowe denies misleading Central Bank

John Bowe
John Bowe

JOHN Bowe says that he "categorically denies" the allegation that he misled the Central Bank or was aware of any strategy to do so.

However, Mr Bowe said that he "deeply regrets" that the language and tone he used in the recorded phone calls was "both imprudent and inappropriate".

Former Anglo executive Mr Bowe had been involved in negotiations with the Central Bank, and was informing his colleague Peter Fitzgerald of progress.

In a statement last night Mr Bowe said: I categorically deny the allegation that I, at any time, misled the Central Bank or was aware of any strategy to do so.

"There were extensive discussions with the Central Bank particularly in or around the time period of September 2008.

"The phone call on 18 September, 2008 was three days after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, and therefore took place during a period of severe and unprecedented market dislocation."

He said he believed the discussions with the Central Bank at the time were focused on obtaining funding for Anglo to enable it to continue until a more stable financial environment emerged.

"In effect, what Anglo was seeking was a form of secured bridging finance. It was envisaged that the relevant period of time would be a number of months before Anglo would be able to access sufficient alternate funding, possibly via the ECB.

"It is my belief that the Central Bank was aware that this was the nature of the discussions that were taking place. All participants in the discussions in September 2008 were fully aware that we were dealing with extreme uncertainty in the markets." He added that the matters discussed related to an envisaged emergency liquidity transaction which ultimately "did not take place".

Mr Bowe added that "in hindsight, I deeply regret that the language and tone I used in these internal bilateral telephone calls was both imprudent and inappropriate.

"I also wish to highlight I was not a member of the executive management board of Anglo Irish Bank in 2008, and therefore was not a decision maker in relation to either the Bank's requirement for funding or negotiations with the Central Bank. Further, my statements were not based upon any awareness whatsoever of a strategy to mislead the Central Bank." His colleague Peter Fitzgerald had not been involved in the negotiations and has confirmed he was unaware of any strategy or intention to mislead the authorities.


Solicitors for Mr Fitzgerald, who is currently out of the country on holiday, contacted the Irish Independent on his behalf.

In a letter, the solicitors state: "Our client was not at any stage aware of any attempt to mislead or withhold information from the Central Bank in relation to the funding position of Anglo Irish Bank."

However, in a statement to RTE last night Mr Fitzgerald also said that he regretted the tone of the conversation.

Irish Independent

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