Denis Casey, who has been found guilty of a €7.2 billion conspiracy to defraud, began his career in 1976 working for Allied Irish Finance Company Limited. He joined Irish Life Assurance in 1980 as a trainee accountant and qualified as a certified accountant in 1982.
He worked in a variety of roles in Ireland and the UK for Irish Life Assurance, including earning his stripes doing weekly door-to-door collections of cash for modest life assurance premiums in working-class housing estates around the capital.
In 1998 he was promoted to the role of chief operating officer in Irish Life's Retail Division. In 1999, following the merger of Irish Life and Irish Permanent, he was appointed chief executive of Irish Life Retail.
In June 2005 he was appointed chief executive of Permanent TSB before taking on the role of ILP group chief executive in May 2007.
The timing was bad as the emergence of an extensive sub-prime mortgage problem in the US triggered a global financial meltdown which itself resulted in a stalling of the normal flow of lending between banks.
Consequently, by late 2007 ILP had begun to rely heavily on borrowings from the ECB to maintain liquidity.
In March 2008 Peter Fitzpatrick met Con Horan, prudential director with the Central Bank, and he received a dressing down over the extent of these borrowings, as revealed in the bank's 2007 end of year results.
Casey was travelling abroad at the time presenting the bank's 2007 results. When he returned he met with Mr Hurley and then financial regulator Pat Neary, and the concept of the “green jersey agenda” - Irish banks supporting each one another during the global financial meltdown - was first raised.
The chief executive told detectives that he very much took on board the regulator's admonition that Irish banks needed to “circle the wagons” and “don the green jersey”. This was the start of it all and Casey said that after this meeting he briefed Peter Fitzpatrick on the agenda.
Casey said he had no recollection of authorising the March “back to back” loans which saw Anglo place €1bn with ILP in return for an overnight placement of €750m in corporate deposits from Irish Life Assurance.
Peter Fitzpatrick told detectives that his boss had approved the deal. He told gardaí: “He gave me his authority ... to execute the transactions. It is a flight of fancy to suggest I was doing a solo run on this. I couldn’t have proceeded with this transaction without my chief executive’s approval”.
Mr Fitzpatrick said he understood that he had a clear instruction from Casey to adopt the green jersey agenda but said that his CEO would be “closely involved in any transaction”.
In any case the help from ILP at Anglo's half-year reporting date was reciprocated by Anglo over ILP's half-year reporting date in June when ILP sent over €3bn in loans to Anglo and Anglo sent €3bn cash deposits to ILP.
In September 2008 dealers from Anglo contacted their counterparts in Anglo with a view to setting up a similar deal to the March transaction.
At the same time, David Drumm contacted Casey and asked for a meeting.
During this meeting Casey was taken by surprise at Mr Drumm's proposal of a merger between the two banks.
Casey was unenthusiastic about the plan and days later it was formally rejected by ILP's Board.
The following weekend a series of articles appeared in Sunday newspapers suggesting that the merger with Anglo was the only option left for ILP and that without it it would not survive the banking crisis.
Casey put the blame for the articles squarely with Anglo and was furious.
In a follow up meeting with Mr Drumm and Séan FitzPatrick he did nothing to hide his displeasure, and his demeanour was lampooned later by Mr Drumm saying, in recorded calls played during the trial, that Casey had “a f***ing brick wall built in front of him” and “kept saying very, very stupid things”.
The merger proposal was again roundly rejected. But as the acrimonious meeting ended Seán FitzPatrick approached Casey and his chairman Gillian Bowler and suggested they let “bygones be bygones” and asked if the mutual support between the two banks would continue. Casey agreed that it would continue.
Peter Fitzpatrick told gardaí that Casey told him his reasons for agreeing were that, despite the animosity, he was acutely conscious of the fact that ILP Group would require support from Anglo in order to manage their level of ECB borrowings on their reporting date in the coming December.
“Accordingly, ILP Group should keep its options open for such support over its financial year end and in doing so would be complying with the directions of the regulator and Central Bank,” Peter Fitzpatrick stated.
He told detectives that Casey told him that ILP should now proceed to support Anglo at the end of the month on the basis that any deposit from ILP was backed up against collateral from Anglo and so risk free.
“I accepted this direction to support Anglo as it was a copy of the 31 March 2008 transaction, which was understood by me as being absolutely risk free for the ILP Group and it would assist Anglo in funding its balance sheet as at 30 September 2008, thereby supporting the wider financial services sector in Ireland in accordance with my understanding of what was required of ILP by the Regulator and the Central Bank.”
Casey admitted authorising the placement of billions of euro to Anglo in September 2008, but said he was in order to support a “pillar” financial institution in the Irish banking system, under the green jersey agenda.
“The September transactions would never have arisen or never have been contemplated by ILP but for our understanding of our obligations under the green jersey agenda mandated by the Central Bank and Financial Regulator,” he told gardaí.
Asked why ILP “did not just walk away” Casey replied: “I believed at the time that the approach by Anglo was in the context of oversight of their year end balance sheet by the regulator.”
Casey said he authorised the placement on the basis that it would be collateralised, or secured by another payment or asset. He said he believed the financial exposure to ILP from the deposit with Anglo was nil.
He said had no role in the structuring or execution of the deals and denied that he knew anything about how Anglo would account for the deposits.
“The collateralised transactions could not have been used to 'bolster' Anglo deposits. In fact Anglo were required to misrepresent the transaction ... in order to present it as it did,” he said.
He said that it was only in February 2009 when he became aware that, because of the way Anglo had accounted for the transactions, if it went into liquidation the financial exposure in ILP could have been €7.2 billion.
He said that in September 2008 “I had no reason whatsoever to doubt the honesty and integrity of Anglo Irish Bank.”
“It never occurred to me that they would misrepresent the transaction entered into with ILP and would suggest that ... ILP was prepared to create a €7 billion financial exposure to Anglo in September 2008.
“Subsequent events have called into question the integrity and honesty of the way in which Anglo was run,” he said.
Michael O'Higgins SC told the jury that his client had been duped by Anglo's decision to account for the transactions on the balance sheet while the State said it was inconceivable that a banker of his experience did not know that Anglo intended to do this.