Anglo loan details were to be kept ‘tight as a duck’s arse’

Anglo Irish Bank management discussed disguising short-terms loans of €750m from Irish Life and Permanent and keeping the details “tight as a duck’s arse”, the trial of former banking executives has heard.

The four men, including former ILP CEO Denis Casey and former Anglo head of finance Willie McAteer, are accused of conspiring to mislead investors by using inter-bank loans to make Anglo appear €7.2bn more valuable than it was.

Mr McAteer, aged 65, of Greenrath, Tipperary Town, and Mr Casey, aged 56, from Raheny, Dublin, are on trial alongside IL&P’s former director of finance Peter Fitzpatrick, aged 63, from Malahide, Dublin, and Anglo’s former head of capital markets John Bowe, aged 52, from Glasnevin, Dublin.

They all pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring together and with others to mislead investors through financial transactions to make the bank appear €7.2bn more valuable that it was between March 1 and September 30, 2008, in Dublin. On day eight of the trial the jury heard recordings of telephone calls made between staff at Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) throughout 2008.

The inter-bank loans allegedly involved money being transferred by Anglo to ILP and then being put back on deposit with Anglo by its life insurance division, Irish Life Assurance. This would make it look as if Anglo had received large corporate deposits by the time it had to report its year-end figures on September, 30, 2008.

In a call on March 27, Matt Cullen, a former director of treasury at Anglo and his counterpart in ILP, David Gantly, discussed the details of March transactions. Mr Bowe was also on this call.

Mr Cullen, who is still giving evidence, told the court that if details of the transaction got out it would affect confidence in the market so the idea was to “keep it tight inside in their own bank”.

Mr Gantly said later in the call: “I can vouch for my own people, I know because of them, you have to be tight as a duck’s arse here”.

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.


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