Tuesday 19 November 2019

Drumm part of massive con in Anglo, trial is told

Former CEO of the Anglo Irish Bank, David Drumm. Photo: Collins Courts
Former CEO of the Anglo Irish Bank, David Drumm. Photo: Collins Courts
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

Anglo Irish Bank's former CEO David Drumm was the "captain of a ship" who "did what he had to" to get it through the "storm" of the 2008 financial crisis, his defence has said.

Mr Drumm "did his best in good faith" when he authorised a €7.2bn interbank deal and it was not the case he "morphed into some criminal mastermind and set about this huge, elaborate fraud, the biggest in Irish history".

Defence barrister Brendan Grehan SC was delivering his closing speech to the jury in Mr Drumm's trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Earlier, Mary Rose Gearty SC concluded her closing statement for the prosecution, saying the transaction at the centre of the case was a "massive con", "very devious" and "monumentally fraudulent."

Mr Drumm (51) is pleading not guilty to conspiring to defraud by dishonestly creating the impression that Anglo's customer deposits were €7.2bn larger than they really were in September 2008.

The case centres on a series of interbank deposits which circulated between Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent.

Mr Drumm also denies false accounting by providing misleading information to the market.

Mr Grehan acknowledged Anglo was "one of the most reviled institutions in recent living memory in this country".

"Any of you would be less than human if you didn't have views and strong feelings about Anglo," he told the jury.

However, he said the trial was "not about all the ills that had been attributed to or were perceived to have been caused by Anglo, real or otherwise to this country".

It was about specific transactions and Mr Drumm had never denied anything he did in 2008 in relation to them. He admitted everything but dishonesty.

"He was captain of that particular ship heading into a storm and he did what he had to do to get that ship through the storm," Mr Grehan said.

There was no evidence that anybody lost a cent as a result of the transactions, he said.

However, Mr Drumm took part in a "massive con" when Anglo sent its own money "around in a circle" and disguised it as a €7.2bn customer deposit, Ms Gearty maintained.

She said Mr Drumm knew "full well" when the bank's financial results were released in December 2008 that the figure was false and he took part in a criminal conspiracy or "confidence trick" on the markets.

Mr Grehan is due to continue today his closing speech to the jury today.

Irish Independent

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