Comments made by a senior Department of Finance official about the management of IBRC before its liquidation were “seriously misleading”, according to the bank’s former chairman.
Alan Dukes was responding to comments made by the department’s second secretary Ann Nolan at the Public Accounts Committee yesterday, where she criticised the culture within the bank.
At the meeting she said those in the bank “never really recognised the damage they had done to the country and that their independence meant they should not be answerable, even though they had taken a lot of money from us”.
However Mr Dukes said these comments “showed a lack of understanding” around the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank – which ultimately merged with Irish Nationwide to become IBRC.
Mr Dukes said that nationalisation of the bank was immediately followed by a “complete change in the board”, as well as the recruitment of an entirely new senior management team.
“The new board and management were not the people who had done damage to the country,” Mr Dukes said. “Ms Nolan, on the other hand, held a senior position in the Department of Finance while the damage was being done under its oversight.”
Mr Dukes also criticised what he termed the “attitude of suspicion and distrust” that some in the department took towards the bank, which he said had led to “unnecessary and unproductive tensions”.
Ms Nolan and Department of Finance secretary general Derek Moran met with the Public Accounts Committee yesterday to discuss the sale of Siteserv and other matters relating to IBRC.