Former Anglo Irish Bank Boss, Sean FitzPatrick

Employees of the Bank of Ireland who were told that Anglo Irish Bank was insolvent prior to the bank's guarantee scheme being announced in September 2008 have been told to report the issue to the Gardai (Irish Police), Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan told the press yesterday.

Lenihan was responding to a claim made in an investigative report broadcast on RTE, the national broadcaster, that senior figures in then Bank of Ireland were approached by Anglo management early in September 2008 because the bank was in massive trouble.

The report claimed that Anglo officials requested that the Bank of Ireland take over the troubled institution because it had become insolvent. According to the new report, Bank of Ireland refused the request.

Earlier this week, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Brian Cowen insisted that no one had told him on September 29 that Anglo was insolvent.

Lenihan echoes Cowen's comments and said if the report was correct, it was a serious matter.

'If such a comment was made to an executive of the Bank of Ireland, they should immediately report this matter to the Garda (Irish Police),' he said.

'Because at all stages of course, it was represented to the regulatory system and the Central Bank that this was a solvent bank. And clearly, there would have been statutory declarations and other documentation confirming that fact. And accounts, indeed, were presented by the bank subsequently to that, and signed off by the directors confirming that the bank was solvent. So if there is someone in Bank of Ireland to whom this statement was made, it should be of course brought to the attention of the Garda. It certainly wasn’t brought to my attention.'

The bank guarantee that was put in place on the night of September 29 included Anglo Irish. But observers say that if the bank actually was insolvent at the time, and had that fact been known, a different decision may have been made.

Employees of the Bank of Ireland who were told that Anglo Irish Bank was insolvent prior to the bank's guarantee scheme being announced in September 2008 have been told to report the issue to the Gardai (Irish Police), Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan told the press yesterday.

Lenihan was responding to a claim made in an investigative report broadcast on RTE, the national broadcaster, that senior figures in then Bank of Ireland were approached by Anglo management early in September 2008 because the bank was in massive trouble.

The report claimed that Anglo officials requested that the Bank of Ireland take over the troubled institution because it had become insolvent. According to the new report, Bank of Ireland refused the request.

Earlier this week, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Brian Cowen insisted that no one had told him on September 29 that Anglo was insolvent.

Lenihan echoes Cowen's comments and said if the report was correct, it was a serious matter.

'If such a comment was made to an executive of the Bank of Ireland, they should immediately report this matter to the Garda (Irish Police),' he said.

'Because at all stages of course, it was represented to the regulatory system and the Central Bank that this was a solvent bank. And clearly, there would have been statutory declarations and other documentation confirming that fact. And accounts, indeed, were presented by the bank subsequently to that, and signed off by the directors confirming that the bank was solvent. So if there is someone in Bank of Ireland to whom this statement was made, it should be of course brought to the attention of the Garda. It certainly wasn’t brought to my attention.'

The bank guarantee that was put in place on the night of September 29 included Anglo Irish. But observers say that if the bank actually was insolvent at the time, and had that fact been known, a different decision may have been made.