Monday 26 February 2018

Management lobbied politicians in the run-up to bank guarantee

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

ANGLO Irish Bank management pursued a dual policy of lobbying the Central Bank and the then government for support as its financial position deteriorated.

Tape recordings from inside the bank reveal further details on contacts with the then government about its precarious financial position, at least a fortnight before the bank guarantee.

The exact level of contact between Anglo and government in the run-up to the bank guarantee remains a source of contention.

Senior figures within the bank had "been in the political ear" in mid-September, a conversation between Anglo director of Capital Markets, John Bowe, and director of Retail Banking, Peter Fitzgerald, shows.

The conversation takes place in the aftermath of a meeting between Anglo and the Central Bank on September 17, 2008 – just days before the bank guarantee of September 30.

But the executives believe these contacts were not "getting traction" until the bank told the Central Bank it needed an emergency loan of €7bn.

Mr Bowe says if it was just senior figures ringing in and saying 'can we have a bit of your time', this wouldn't be taken seriously in government circles.

"I think it would be 'ah for f***s sake'.

"But I think they know it's real and they know its material . . . and there's something, something that needs to be discussed, you know," he says.

Mr Bowe also says part of the strategy going forward was for Anglo chief executive David Drumm to be "in with ministers over the weekend".

Irish Independent

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