Former Anglo director was following 'green jersey agenda'Wednesday 10 February 2016 23.24
A former director of treasury at Anglo Irish Bank has told the trial of four former bankers that he believed he was carrying out instructions as part of the "green jersey agenda" that was in operation in the country during the financial crisis in 2008.
Matt Cullen was giving evidence at the trial of former Anglo executives, John Bowe and William McAteer and former IL&P executives, Denis Casey and Peter Fitzpatrick who have all pleaded not guilty to a conspiracy to defraud.
The four are accused of conspiring to mislead depositors, investors and lenders by making Anglo's deposits look more than €7bn larger than they actually were in September 2008.
The court has heard money was placed with Irish Life and Permanent by Anglo and then deposited back into Anglo by Irish Life Assurance so it would look like a corporate deposit.
It was then returned to IL&P.
Mr Cullen said he was aware of the "green jersey agenda" from what was being discussed in Anglo Chief Executive David Drumm's office from mid March 2008.
Mr Cullen agreed with lawyers for former IL&P chief executive Denis Casey that his time in the bank up to early 2008 was a very exciting and extraordinary time where Anglo was growing and receiving accolades and taking on the big boys.
But in early 2008 there was a problem. Mr Cullen said he became aware of the "green jersey agenda" from an email Mr Drumm sent on 16 March asking people to put some thought into what the Governor of the Central Bank had asked them to look at - how the Irish banks could help each other.
Mr Cullen said it was "’Ireland Inc’ - you would go upstairs and hear Mr Drumm talking to the CEOs of the other Irish banks.
He said everyone was involved, everyone was trying to save the Irish banking system.
Mr Cullen has now finished his evidence.
Another former member of the treasury team at Anglo has said there was no commercial benefit to the bank from the transactions in September 2008 at the centre of the case.
Brian Lynch said the money was deposited by Anglo with Irish Life and Permanent. He said the money came back in to Anglo from Irish Life Assurance.
He said Irish Life Assurance was classified in accounting terms as a non bank financial institution.
This meant the money would be seen to be a customer deposit by shareholders, investors and rating agencies. He agreed there was no liquidity benefit and no commercial benefit to Anglo from the transactions.
Mr Lynch said there was general market panic at the time. Ireland was seen as a high risk country and there were significant withdrawals of cash from the banks until the government guarantee was brought in.
Various options to get funding for Anglo fell away until only the transactions with IL&P were left.
He said it was important for the bank to show strong customer deposits at its year end as this was seen as one of the signals of the strength of a bank.
Earlier, Emma Hillier of Anglo's Isle of Man subsidiary gave evidence about a transaction in which almost £1 million pounds sterling was transferred from the Isle of Man to IL&P on 25 September 2008.
She said the request to carry out this transaction came in a direct email from someone in Anglo Dublin with whom she had never dealt before.
She said she had never been contacted directly about such a transaction before.
She said she did not get the usual group email.