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Were AIB 'lending money to every cowboy in town'?

AIB and Bank of Ireland are in the spotlight in the latest round of Anglo Tapes by the Irish Independent. Here are some of the more memorable quotes.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

DETAILS OF THE latest Anglo Tapes revealed by the Irish Independent have pushed Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland into the spotlight.

Recorded conversations between top executive John Bowe and former CEO David Drumm hint at the “loose” lending practices of Ireland’s main banks towards the end of the so-called Celtic Tiger boom.

According to the newspaper, Bowe can be heard telling his CEO:

They (Bank of Ireland) think that Allied have played fast and loose with lending money to every cowboy in town – apart from ourselves also lending money to every cowboy in town.

He also adds:

They think . . . they’ve been the sensible bankers and the market just doesn’t get it.

Bowe believes that AIB are getting off lightly on the markets:

What is exercising Bank (Bank of Ireland) more than anything else is why they’re being beaten up more than Allied (Allied Irish Banks).

The Sunday Independent published further extracts from the tapes yesterday, prompting comments from President Michael D Higgins.

He said those perpetuating that banking culture “do not reflect our core values as a nation”.

These are not the voices of the people of Ireland, and the attitudes that they reveal are not shared by the people of Ireland, and the behaviours they reflect are not characteristic of the people of Ireland.

The Sunday paper revealed remarks by Drumm about both the then-Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan and the then-head of the Department of Finance Kevin Cardiff.

He described a meeting with Cardiff ad “f**king horrendous”, before going on to say that he wanted to punch Lenihan.

“I’ll probably punch him [Lenihan],” Drumm says on the tape. “And I mean punch him, as if to say [to him], ‘What are you actually doing?’

Because you are creating an awful lot of uncertainty and can you just, can we move the game where you give us a little bit more clarity than you have given in relation to the availability of capital.
Speaking to Irish-American journalist Niall O’Dowd at the weekend, the former CEO apologised for the ‘frivolous’ tone and language used in the recordings.

“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,” he told IrishCentral.com.

“I knew they were bad, bad bad” – David Drumm apologises for language on Anglo tapes

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