Belfast Telegraph

Irish Central Bank had no plan for Anglo default, inquiry told

By Clodagh Sheehy

The Central Bank had no plan for Anglo Irish Bank hours before it was due to default on a €1.6bn (£1.2bn) loan, the Republic's banking inquiry has heard.

Former Bank of Ireland governor Richard Burrows said Central Bank governor John Hurley seemed surprised when he told him about the "state of desperation" of Anglo on the afternoon of September 29, 2008.

Mr Burrows added Anglo bosses Sean Fitzpatrick and David Drumm had requested a meeting with his bank earlier that day and asked if Bank of Ireland would take over Anglo fully, or in part. "They were looking for any kind of assistance at all we could offer," Mr Burrows said.

He claimed that a short while later he attended a pre-scheduled meeting with Mr Hurley where he explained the Anglo position and asked if there was a plan.

"I was somewhat surprised to find there was not," Burrows said. "Mr Hurley's guidance to me was that if I wanted to take matters further, I should make an approach to government."

The representatives of Bank of Ireland and AIB met the-then Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and "a number of others" at Government Buildings, the probe heard.

Belfast Telegraph