Tuesday 25 June 2019

Drumm said Anglo should assemble 'war cabinet' team to deal with issues, trial told

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

Andrew Phelan

Former Anglo Irish Bank CEO David Drumm told colleagues weeks after the Government bailout out that a team should be put together with "war cabinet urgency" to tackle the issues facing the troubled bank.

Mr Drumm emailed bankers in November 2008 telling them that the issues Anglo faced included an audit and future funding.

The email was shown to the jury as Anglo's then-chief financial officer Matt Moran gave evidence for a second day at Mr Drumm's trial.

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

The case centres on a series of multi-billion euro interbank loans which circulated between Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent ILP.

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

Yesterday, the jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was shown an email Mr Drumm sent to other bank officials on November 12, 2008.

"Guys, just spoke with Matt [Moran] today and he's rightly pressing that we need to get a larger group around the table immediately to manage the key issues we are currently facing, including YE audit, ratings agencies action, funding plan going forward, capital," the email stated.

"The suggestion is keeping the team tight and to key people who can contribute to the strategic discussion... but with a 'war cabinet' urgency to it."

Earlier the jury heard Mr Drumm had mailed executives before the bailout on September 10, 2008, asking them to "look under every rock" for ways to reduce lending.

"Massive push needed, guys, look under every rock, this is crunch time for us, thanks," the email read.

Mary Rose Gearty SC, prosecuting, asked Mr Moran what he thought this referred to.

Mr Moran said he believed it meant to minimise lending.

Ms Gearty asked if it could refer to funding.

"I don't think so," Mr Moran replied.

The court also heard there were meetings held in David Drumm's office on Friday afternoons from August to early September 2008 at which the funding initiatives were discussed.

"David was a very experienced person in the bank," Mr Moran said. "He chaired and drove those meetings," he said.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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