EXCLUSIVE: Former Anglo chief David Drumm apologizes, says inquiry needed on bank guarantee
Tells IrishCentral he wants similar tapes from all Irish banks released
The 2008 audited accounts for the bank were signed off by government-appointed directors in February 2009, showing the bank to be solvent, and reporting a profit of over €800m for the 2008 financial year. This again appears inconsistent with the public debate and begs the question: did the government-appointed directors issue inaccurate or accurate accounts?
The Anglo loan book was reviewed in detail in late 2008, firstly by a committee of the non-executive directors, led by Donal O'Connor, and subsequently by PWC, appointed by the Central Bank. The bank's bad debt provisions were deemed to be sufficient after all reviews. Otherwise, presumably, the 2008 accounts would have been amended if it was concluded at the time that additional provisions were necessary. Again, there exists irrefutable evidence, which will shed light on this issue, contained in the relevant non-executives' report and a Price Waterhouse Coopers report. There is no reason why these reports should not be made available to the public .
So you are saying Anglo was solvent at the time it asked for liquidity assistance?
The bank's solvency was not an issue at this time. Rather there was extreme strain on liquidity -- ie, the bank was quickly running out of cash due to massive withdrawals mostly by international corporates and fund managers. As reflected in the tapes, the bank was actually losing a billion a day in the second half of September 2008.
While I am aware there is much debate on the issues of 'solvency' as opposed to 'liquidity' during this period, I can only deal with what was happening at that precise time, and these issues were at that time entirely separate.
The increasing losses in Anglo Irish Bank's loan portfolio did not take effect until the effects of the property market collapse and the contraction in the general economy started to be felt in the first half of 2009. This is a matter of record and a matter that has been sworn before the courts.
You believe there should be an inquiry into the bank guarantee which you say is at the root of all of Ireland's current problems?
There exists a vast portfolio of documents, meeting notes and correspondence between the Financial Regulator, the Central Bank, the Department of Finance, the Department of the Taoiseach, European officials and politicians, Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Irish Nationwide Building Society and Anglo Irish Bank in September 2008 and leading up to the issuance of the blanket guarantee on September 29, 2008. If this was made public this misrepresentation and misleading of the Irish public could finally come to an end.
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