Anglo 'wanted to buy troubled lender'

Anglo 'wanted to buy troubled lender'

Anglo Irish Bank wanted to buy a troubled lender 10 days before the Government‘s dramatic move to guarantee all deposits in six Irish banks, it was revealed today.

The state-owned finance house claimed it was on a sound enough footing to rescue Irish Nationwide a week before the blanket €440bn protection.

The top civil servant at the Department of Finance, Kevin Cardiff, said former Anglo chief David Drumm gave a presentation to the Government on the takeover plan. The claims were treated with scepticism.

Mr Cardiff told an Oireachtas inquiry the finance house – nationalised four months after the guarantee – was presenting a very optimistic position in the September 2008 briefing.

The senior official, being questioned by the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee, accepted the stance of the bank was outrageous.

“And it wasn’t the only outrageous thing they did,” he said.

Mr Cardiff told the PAC that one of the main reasons for putting the bank guarantee in place on the night of September 29, 2008 was that Anglo ran out of money that day.

He also said revelations today about a loan issued by the bank to its former chief executive on the day it was nationalised were further proof of the governance problems at Anglo.

It was revealed today that a company co-owned by Seán Fitzpatrick was given a multi-million euro top-up loan on January 21 last year.

The Irish Independent said some of the money was used to buy a plush villa on the French Riviera.

Cardiff said it was further evidence of the behaviour at Anglo and why it was nationalised.

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