Anglo Irish Bank's chief executive David Drumm told senior colleagues in September 2008 to “look under every rock” as liquidity levels at the bank continued to plummet.
In an email on September 10, 2008, Mr Drumm wrote that it was “crunch time for us” and “a massive push is needed guys, look under every rock”
Matt Moran, former chief financial officer at Anglo, was continuing his evidence on day 35 of Mr Drumm's conspiracy to defraud trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Today he told Mary Rose Gearty SC, prosecuting, that he believed “a massive push” referred to the need to urgently reduce the level of lending at the bank.
“My interpretation of looking under a rock is that it means to look at all options and make sure the level of lending can be managed to a minimum,” he said.
Mr Drumm's trial has heard that he accepts that transactions worth €7.2 billion between Anglo and Irish Life & Permanent (ILP) took place in 2008 but he disputes they were fraudulent or dishonest.
When asked by Ms Gearty if he believed Mr Drumm was “looking for funding” in this email, Mr Moran said he did not think so, and said all recipients of the email were “lending people” at Anglo.
Mr Moran told the court that he attended regular 3pm “liquidity meetings” on Friday afternoons in Mr Drumm's office, up until mid-September 2008.
Mr Moran said potential funding initiatives were discussed at these meetings which were often preceded by a meeting of the executive directors at the bank, the content of which “flowed into our meetings”.
A detailed spreadsheet was shown to the jury, with headings that included “best case”, “worst case”, “most likely preference”, “timing” and “customer funding”.
He said the spreadsheet outlined transactions which it was hoped would enhance the bank's capital position by year end, and also flagged which staff member was dealing with each one.
When asked by Ms Gearty what financial acumen Mr Drumm had, the witness described him as a very experienced lender.
“Mr Drumm had run the Anglo business in the US and in Ireland and he chaired and drove these meetings,” he said.
Mr Moran told Ms Gearty that from around mid-September on he didn't receive the spreadsheet and was no longer on the email distribution list.
Yesterday the jury viewed an email sent in March 2008, in which Mr Drumm suggested Anglo executives “zoom in on what has to be done to make the magic number”.
Mr Drumm, with an address in Skerries, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with former bank officials Denis Casey, William McAteer, John Bowe and others to defraud depositors and investors at Anglo by “dishonestly” creating the impression that deposits in 2008 were €7.2 billion larger than they were.
He has also pleaded not guilty to false accounting on December 3, 2008, by furnishing information to the market that Anglo's 2008 deposits were €7.2 billion larger than they were.
The trial, nearing the end of its fifth week, continues before Judge Karen O'Connor and a jury.