Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Main players in banking turmoil

Patrick Neary was forced to resign after it emerged he did not know Anglo's chairman had built up a book of directors' loans worth 87 million euro
Sean FitzPatrick is currently awaiting trial for fraud

Taped phone calls from inside the walls of the bust Anglo Irish Bank have so far revealed the attitudes of just three key players. Here are the bankers caught on tape and some of the other high-profile names central to the years of turmoil Ireland suffered following the 2008 blanket guarantee.

David Drumm was Anglo's chief executive when it collapsed in 2008. He worked his way up the foodchain under chairman Sean FitzPatrick and took over the reins in 2005. He gave an RTE Radio interview in September 2008 boasting about the strength of Anglo despite a share price collapse and behind-the-scenes talks with authorities on a bailout.

He fled to New York and Boston in December 2008 - shortly before Anglo was nationalised - and cannot be extradited from the United States unless he has been charged with an offence.

John Bowe, who is now an independent financial consultant, held high-profile positions in the bank including head of capital markets and then director of treasury at the time of the first phone call, two days before the bank guarantee.

Like other senior colleagues in Anglo, rather than jumping ship as the banking sector and economy nosedived, Mr Bowe clung on or was kept on at the bust bank. He moved to director of corporate development for the rebranded bank, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), from March 2010 to 2012.

Peter Fitzgerald was director of retail banking at Anglo when the bank collapsed and the guarantee was introduced in September 2008. In a three-year period running across the bank's collapse and nationalisation, he served as director of retail banking and ultimately became the man tasked with dealing with the media as the wind down was planned.

Under the IBRC banner Mr Fitzgerald was the head of corporate affairs - a position he served in from March 2011 to February 2013. He is now interim chief executive of the Irish Association of Alcohol and Addiction Counsellors.

Patrick Neary quit his role as Ireland's financial watchdog as the Government nationalised Anglo and all 29 billion euro of its debt. His resignation was forced after it emerged he did not know Anglo's chairman had built up a book of directors' loans worth 87 million euro.

Brian Lenihan took over the poisoned chalice of finance as the Irish economy was brought to its knees by a bust banking sector. Three months into the job he presided over the overnight blanket bank guarantee - much to the disgust of most of Europe. The Fianna Fail TD died in June 2011.

Sean FitzPatrick became the top man at Anglo in 1986 and drove it to become one of the fastest-growing banks in the world and a favourite of supposedly savvy pension and stock market investors. FitzPatrick's favoured clients were property speculators. He is awaiting trial for fraud.

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