Central Bank 'carefully studying' Anglo transcripts

Wednesday 26 June 2013 21.56
The Central Bank said it was liaising with gardaí on the Anglo transcripts
The Central Bank said it was liaising with gardaí on the Anglo transcripts

The Central Bank has said it is "carefully studying" the transcripts of phone calls emerging in relation to Anglo Irish Bank.

In a statement the authority said it viewed the matter seriously and would examine whether the information highlighted any regulatory breaches that may have occurred.

The Central Bank said it was liaising with the gardaí on the matter.

In its latest revelations from the "Anglo tapes", the Irish Independent reported that bank chief David Drumm referred to the flight of deposits by saying "another day, another billion".

Transcripts show that Mr Drumm joked with a senior executive about the flow of funds from the institution, hours before the State bank guarantee came into effect and as the bank verged on collapse.

The paper said the tapes show Anglo management tried to stay a step ahead of the regulators while struggling to keep the bank afloat.

The newspaper also quoted former taoiseach Brian Cowen saying that he was very surprised about the content of the recordings.

The revelations published so far have prompted calls for a swift inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the State bank guarantee.

'Helping' Germans offended by tapes

Elsewhere, Dr Michael Fuchs, deputy parliamentary leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party, has described the tapes as "disgusting".

He said that Germany was paying more than 27% of international bailout programmes.

Mr Fuchs said: "It is absolutely unbearable that somebody is talking like this about helpers. The Germans are helpers. It is the most helping country in Europe and we are offended.

"Ireland got €67.5bn from EFSF and ESF so far and that's a lot of money, which other taxpayers have to stand for to guarantee. Ireland as such has suffered a lot and it's totally disgusting that people are talking like this."

Public opinion will be influenced by tapes - Noonan

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said he has no doubt that the Anglo tapes scandal will influence public opinion in the countries which have funded Ireland's bailout programme.

He was speaking in Brussels ahead of a meeting of European Union finance ministers which will try to seek agreement on a key aspect of the future banking union.

Mr Noonan said other EU finance ministers would have been aware of the issue through national newspapers, and also because Anglo Irish Bank was what he called "the first mover" in driving Ireland into an EU-IMF rescue.

"None of my colleagues mentioned it [ahead of the Ecofin meeting], but that's not to say they're not aware of the issue, reading it in the newspapers.

"I've no doubt at all it will influence public opinion in the countries which provided us with the funds that are needed for our bailout programme.

"We have put a lot of energy into restoring Ireland's reputation, and I hope it's a passing phase and that it doesn't do permanent damage. We could have done without it," he said.

Mr Noonan said both a garda and an office of corporate control investigation were ongoing.

He said that one senior executive, who did not figure in the tapes, had been returned to a trial which would take place in the first half of next year.

"It's extraordinarily complex - there are tea-chests, hundreds of tea-chests full of documents and then there are tapes as well, so its very difficult to put a book of evidence together, but I understand the prosecution authorities are making good progress," he said.