Former Anglo Irish banker says sorry for recorded comments

City A.M. Reporter
AN IRISH banker taped saying he would demand cash from authorities to keep operating and making light of a 2008 bailout apologised for his comments in an interview published yesterday.

Public outrage has grown after the Irish Independent published taped telephone conversations between executives of the now-defunct Anglo Irish Bank, wrecked in 2008 when a property bubble burst after years of reckless lending.

David Drumm, then-chief executive of Anglo Irish, had said he would demand “moolah” – slang for money – from the central bank in tapes of conversations that mocked a bank guarantee that pushed Ireland into years of austerity.

In his first public comments since the tapes were published, Drumm told the Sunday Business Post that the recordings were made at a stressful and volatile time but there was “no excuse for the terrible language or the frivolous tone”.

“I sincerely regret the offence this has caused,” he said. “I cannot change this now, but I can apologise to those who had to listen to it and who were understandably so offended by it.”

The bank eventually cost taxpayers €30bn during the financial crisis, and three former executives – not including Drumm – will go on trial next year on fraud charges.