Recordings raise suspicions over €30bn Irish bank bailout

Tim Wallace
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EXECUTIVES at Anglo Irish bank may have tricked the state into bailing it out by disguising the true scale of the lender’s problems, according to recordings made public yesterday.

The bank received €30bn (£25.5bn) in support through the crisis as part of a series of bailouts which ended up forcing the government itself to seek aid from the EU and IMF.

Recordings published by the Irish Independent appear to reveal then-capital markets head John Bowe and ex-retail boss Peter Fitzgerald discussing how to persuade the state to begin aiding the bank.

Fitzgerald, who was not involved in negotiations with the central bank, asked Bowe why the lender said it needed €7bn of aid. “As [then- chief executive David Drumm] would say, picked it out my arse,” he replied. “If [the central bank] saw the enormity of it up front, they might decide they have a choice.” Bowe has denied misleading the authorities, while Fitzgerald has denied knowledge of any plan to mislead authorities.