Friday 16 November 2018

Drumm 'being made a scapegoat'

David Drumm is the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank
David Drumm is the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has accused politicians and senior officials of making him a scapegoat for the banking crisis.

Mr Drumm attacked what he called the "drip, drip, drip" release of phone recordings made at the toxic lender in 2008 as a new secret tape hears him call the Central Bank "that shower of clowns down in Dame Street".

The former banker called for all of the tapes, emails and documents from all banks, and not just Anglo, to be made public, specifically including all of the conversations involving Anglo senior management, the Financial Regulator and the Central Bank of Ireland.

He said these will prove beyond doubt that there was no desire or attempt whatsoever to mislead either or force the Irish Government to issue a blanket guarantee. "I repeat, neither I nor anyone from Anglo Irish Bank ever requested that the Government issue a blanket guarantee," he said.

"Nobody from Anglo Irish Bank was at the meeting at which it was decided to issue the guarantee. I will no longer allow myself to be made the scapegoat by politicians, politically connected former bankers and politically protected senior public servants who don't want their role in the crisis to be highlighted.

"This intentional and systematic misinforming and misleading of the Irish public in relation to the Government guarantee and the events leading up to it has been now been going on for several years and it has to stop if the public is to finally understand what happened."

Mr Drumm, who is from Skerries in north Co Dublin, fled to the US after Anglo collapsed. In the latest tapes published by the Sunday Independent, Mr Drumm admits that Anglo is close to breaching Central Bank rules as withdrawals reach over 1.5 billion euro in a single day.

"The regulatory minimums are not in themselves a disaster for the bank unless somebody finds out about them," Mr Drumm said to John Bowe, the bank's head of treasury.

The conversation was recorded some time over late August or early September 2008. Elsewhere, Mr Drumm can be heard saying it is time for the bank to have a "conversation with our friends on Dame Street" about being bailed out. Mr Bowe has previously denied misleading banking regulators in Ireland.

Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Patrick Honohan said he had heard the contents of some tapes on specific aspects during his inquiry on the banking crisis in 2010 and had handed the material to gardai. He said the only "new element" in the leaked transcripts is the allegation Anglo executives knew the problem was worse than admitted and seemed to want to "entrap" the Central Bank by needing more funds than first appeared.

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