Sunday 8 December 2019

Warning signs at Anglo were there

Is it any wonder Anglo Irish Bank has gone down the tubes?

Whilst tidying out the other day, I came across a magazine called 'UCD Job Connections', Issue No 1, dated 2001, which featured an interview with Sean FitzPatrick, chief executive officer of Anglo Irish Bank Corporation since 1986, entitled 'Banking on the New Millennium'.

In it, he states: "Back in those days (circa 1974), you couldn't just go in and get loans from building societies the way you can now -- but I was told that I could get a loan if I worked in a bank, so I got a job in a bank (He had a BComm degree)."

Then, he goes on to say: "I was never afraid of figures, but I didn't let them rule me either. My great strength was that I was confident when it came to financial issues."

And he adds: "I would look more towards arts or engineering graduates (than those with a business degree) because those degrees give people a bit more rounding. We've employed a person recently in the bank who is a doctor . . . I'd happily take an archaeology graduate for a financial position."

Furthermore, he says, "We are only a region of Europe, and our Government has no effective control over monetary policy and interest rates. In this scenario, more than any other, local management of Irish banks is vital for all of us in this country."

And we all know where all of the above has gotten us all.

But what I would like to know is how come alarm bells weren't going off back then?

Anne Finn
Dundalk, co louth

Irish Independent

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