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Don't worry, we're going to be around for a long time - Anglo's Drumm

SENIOR Anglo bosses openly laughed about how their then boss, disgraced former banker David Drumm, told them that they were "going to be around for a long time".

Tape recordings from inside Anglo reveal how two of the bank's senior executives joked about Anglo's future and how senior executives needed to "show leadership".

The conversation took place some two weeks before the bank guarantee was made.

Anglo managers John Bowe and Peter Fitzgerald are heard jovially discussing the prospect of the bank being nationalised.

"That would be fantastic; if it was nationalised we'd keep our jobs," Mr Bowe said.

The pair burst into laughter after Mr Fitzgerald quoted former Anglo boss David Drumm: "As Drummer says to me, 'Don't worry, we're going to be around for a long time'."

There has been public outrage since the tapes – published yesterday in our sister paper, the Irish Independent – exposed how an Anglo boss sought €7bn from the taxpayer after picking the figure "out of my a***".

 

Hoodwinked

The tapes reveal that shortly before the bank guarantee was introduced in September 2008, Anglo's then head of capital markets, John Bowe, told Anglo's director of retail banking, Peter Fitzgerald, how the bank's top brass hoodwinked Central Bank officials.

Bowe is heard admitting that the taxpayer would in the end pay substantially more than the €7bn initially sought.

But in further recordings revealed today, the executives appear relaxed about the bank's imminent financial meltdown.

Asked by Fitzgerald as to how the embattled bank will deal with growing staff unrest, Bowe replies: "Ah, f***'s sake. Well, I'm going to say to people: 'Look, we gotta keep our, keep going here; don't worry about things'."

He adds that "the bank has liquidity and we are using our liquidity now. And, you know, the regulators, we are in contact with the regulators at the highest levels, so don't worry'."

Fitzgerald laughs in response and says: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Don't bother, take the rest of the day off."

Bowe denies misleading the Central Bank.

Fitzgerald had not been involved in negotiations and says he was unaware of any intention to mislead. In the recorded conversation, both men continue to discuss what 'message' will be given to staff.

"The message is 'look, keep your heads up everything is okay, it's a s****y world out there, every bank is going through the horrors at the moment'..." Bowe says.

According to a transcript of the conversation, Fitzgerald says: "As Drummer says to me, 'Don't worry, we're going to be around for a long time'."

Bowe replies: "Then the phone went dead" before the pair burst into laughter.

Just days before their conversation on September 18, 2008, Drumm hosted the 'Back to School Doombuster Party' to boost staff morale, at which the drinks bill alone totalled €24,000.

Two years after the bank guarantee was made in 2008, Anglo's bailout was set to cost the taxpayer some €34bn. Today, some put that figure close to €40bn. Anglo has since been nationalised.

In December 2010, Brian Lenihan requested a bailout package of €67.5bn from the ECB, the IMF and the EU.


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