“business as usual” at Anglo Irish Bank?

Some interesting snippets of information to emerge from the, by all accounts, understandably somewhat heated EGM of the soon to be nationalised Anglo Irish Bank today at the Mansion House in Dublin. From the various linked reports

“Newly-appointed chairman Donal O’Connor revealed directors’ loans were given a ’no-risk’ bill of health and were not closely monitored.”

“Controversial former Anglo-Irish Bank chief Sean FitzPatrick secretly borrowed €129m from the lender, it was revealed tonight. The personal loans were used to buy shares, fund property deals and invest in pensions and film projects, shareholders were told at an emergency meeting in Dublin.”

“Auditors Ernst and Young said: ‘All of the audits conducted for Anglo Irish Bank shareholders were undertaken in accordance with the appropriate auditing standards.'”

The accounts for 2007 show [former Anglo-Irish Bank chief Sean FitzPatrick ] had loans worth €129m but only disclosed €7m to shareholders at the time. Other directors have arranged loans worth €95m, the bank said today.

The Government attempted to quash fears that account holders were rushing to withdraw money with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan insisting: “Some people took some money out, but there was no run on the bank.” And Mr Lenihan, who announced the takeover last night, said such talk would damage Ireland’s international reputation and possibly the economy.

[Taoiseach] Mr Cowen, who oversaw the nationalisation plan by phone during a trade mission to Japan, maintained the bank was in good stead and solvent as his officials finalise plans to bring in legislation next Tuesday to complete the nationalisation.

The Government has refused to give details on the state of Anglo-Irish’s loan book as questions remain over the decision to cancel the €1.5bn bail-out in favour of nationalisation. It will now press ahead with recapitalisation for the other major banks.

And from the RTÉ report

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has insisted that it is ‘business as usual’ at Anglo Irish Bank and that people should now be reassured that the institution is solvent.

For more expert commentary on the situation try Mick’s earlier podcast.