There are calls for a public inquiry after the release of recordings of phone calls between senior executives at Anglo Irish Bank, which suggest the bank misled regulators when it was looking for financial aid in 2008
The Irish Independent today published a recording of a phone conversation between Anglo executives John Bowe, head of capital markets, and Peter Fitzgerald director of retail banking, in September 2008. In the taped conversation they discuss how they planned to get the Central Bank to agree to provide €7bn in liquidity assistance. (The state eventually paid out €30 billion to try and rescue Anglo Irish Bank.
Mr Bowe says: ” That number is seven but the reality is we need more than that.The strategy here is you pull them in, you get them to write a big cheque and they have to keep – they have to support their money.”
He also says – “If it doesn’t look too big at the outset – if it looks big, big enough to be important, but not too big that it kind of spoils everything, then, then I think you have a chance.”
Anglo Irish was at the centre of the banking crash, which is estimated to have cost taxpayers up to €30bn.(so far !)
Maybe- if the Central Bank knew then how much Anglo really needed – they might not have bailed them out.
Commenting on the matter – Enda Kenny said that the Government had produced legislation that would allow for a banking inquiry, but it had yet to be decided how exactly to carry this out. !
Pearse Doherty of Sinn Fein said “The government’s foot dragging on the banking inquiry is unacceptable. Like the last government, Fine Gael and Labour are taking a hands-off approach to the banks while they pay their executives over the top salaries, increase their interest rates at will and seek increased powers to repossess homes from struggling mortgage holders”
Here in Ireland no senior Irish banker has been found guilty in any court so far. Anglo’s former chief executive, Sean FitzPatrick, and two ex-directors, Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer, are still awaiting trial on fraud charges.
Anglo Irish Bank was the preferred lender for many property speculators and builders. Sean Quinn borrowed hundreds of millions of euros from Anglo Irish to fund the building of a worldwide property portfolio which has since melted away. Quinn’s gambling with Anglo Irish’s loans resulted in him being made bankrupt and finally jailed for failing to hand over assets to the bank once it was nationalised.