Belfast Telegraph

Anglo-Irish Bank signs taken down

One of the most notorious symbols of Ireland's economic boom and bust has been torn down.

Logos and signs on Anglo-Irish Bank offices have been removed, including from above the Stephen's Green headquarters in Dublin.

The nationalised lender, which is costing Irish citizens at least 30 billion euro, is to be rebranded and renamed in coming weeks.

Passers-by on Stephen's Green blasted car horns, others roared "Praise Jesus" and many clapped as they walked in front of the landmark to reckless banking.

Economist Colm McCarthy passed nearby shortly after publishing his advice on the sale of state assets to boost Government funds. He said: "Sure they could sell the signs - they'd be worth a fortune."

The dismantling in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford means Anglo no longer has any visible presence on Ireland's high streets.

A spokeswoman for the bank said several requests have been made to put the signage up for auction for charity. "The signs are going to be stored in a vault in the bank. There are no firm plans on what to do with them," she said.

Mike Aynsley, Anglo's group chief executive, was handed the Anglo logo as he stood at the front door of the former HQ and watched the dismantling. "This organisation is radically different today from the bank I joined in September 2009. We have undertaken a root-and-branch overhaul which positions the bank to wind down our portfolio of loans with the highest levels of efficiency," he said.

Brendan Howlin, minister for public expenditure and reform, said he would be glad to see the end of Anglo. He said he did not know the bank's new name and claimed people would not care.

"They'll (the public) want to ensure that its final transition to oblivion is as cost-free as it possibly can be because, God knows, its life to date has been extremely costly for the Irish taxpayer, for the Irish economy and for the Irish people," he said.

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