Drumm: I'm scapegoat for banking crisis

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has accused politicians and senior officials of making him a scapegoat for the banking crisis.

Drumm: I'm scapegoat for banking crisis

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has accused politicians and senior officials of making him a scapegoat for the banking crisis.

Mr Drumm attacked what he called the “drip, drip, drip” release of phone recordings made at the toxic lender in 2008 as a new secret tape hears him call the Central Bank “that f****** shower of clowns down in Dame Street”.

The former banker called for all of the tapes, emails and documents from all banks, and not just Anglo, to be made public, specifically including all of the conversations involving Anglo senior management, the Financial Regulator and the Central Bank of Ireland.

He said these will prove beyond doubt that there was no desire or attempt whatsoever to mislead either or force the Irish Government to issue a blanket guarantee.

“I repeat, neither I nor anyone from Anglo Irish Bank ever requested that the Government issue a blanket guarantee,” he said.

“Nobody from Anglo Irish Bank was at the meeting at which it was decided to issue the guarantee.

“I will no longer allow myself to be made the scapegoat by politicians, politically connected former bankers and politically protected senior public servants who don’t want their role in the crisis to be highlighted.

“This intentional and systematic misinforming and misleading of the Irish public in relation to the Government guarantee and the events leading up to it has been now been going on for several years and it has to stop if the public is to finally understand what happened.”

Mr Drumm, who is from Skerries in north Co Dublin, fled to the US after Anglo collapsed.

In the latest tapes published by the Sunday Independent, Mr Drumm admits that Anglo is close to breaching Central Bank rules as withdrawals reach over 1.5 billion euro in a single day.

“The regulatory minimums are not in themselves a disaster for the bank unless somebody finds out about them,” Mr Drumm said to John Bowe, the bank’s head of treasury.

The conversation was recorded some time over late August or early September 2008.

Elsewhere, Mr Drumm can be heard saying it is time for the bank to have a “conversation with our friends on Dame Street” about being bailed out.

“Our buddies on Dame Street... I don’t want any f****** bollocksology from them,” he adds.

Mr Bowe has previously denied misleading banking regulators in Ireland.

Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Patrick Honohan said he had heard the contents of some tapes on specific aspects during his inquiry on the banking crisis in 2010 and had handed the material to gardai.

He said the only “new element” in the leaked transcripts is the allegation Anglo executives knew the problem was worse than admitted and seemed to want to “entrap” the Central Bank by needing more funds than first appeared.

“That has to be examined to see whether that apparent impression on the tapes is in fact correct and problematic,” he added.

Standing over his report, Mr Honohan believed little more could have been published if he had had access too all the recordings at the time given that none of the institutions were identified in it.

“That report gives a lot of the answers to the questions people are now raising,” he added.

The report found “comprehensive failure” by the directors of Irish banks to maintain safe and sound banking practices and that the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator of the time failed in their role.

The leaked tape conversations between Anglo executives cover the months and weeks leading to the Irish Government’s controversial €440bn bank guarantee in September 2008.

Anglo, the first bank to be bailed-out, ran into trouble after lending tens of billions of euros to property developers before the collapse of the property market.

A Government rescue package eventually cost Irish taxpayers around €30bn and the bank was nationalised in 2009 and rebranded as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

On Friday, Alan Dukes admitted he knew about the taped conversations between senior management at the toxic lender and was among the new board members who handed them over to gardaí when a criminal investigation was launched.

However, the former public interest director at Anglo, who went on to become IBRC chairman, revealed he did not tell Government ministers or inquiries - including Mr Honohan’s – about the tapes as he had not been asked about them.

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