Anglo Irish Bank’s Austrian bank offered ‘secret’ deposits
Files are obtained by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
Anglo Irish Bank’s Austrian private bank sought business from offshore customers by recommending the bank as a good place to deposit money secretly, saying that it kept “a lower profile” than Switzerland.
Secret company records show that the bank solicited business from a Singapore-based firm that set up companies and trusts in offshore hideaways such as the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean and the Cook Islands in the south Pacific.
The files, obtained by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, show the Irish-owned private bank praising the benefits of Austria’s bank secrecy laws which forbid the disclosure of customer information.
“Investors around the world have learned to appreciate the smooth and quiet way in which Austrian banks conduct business with their customers,” a senior executive at Anglo’s Austrian bank, Dr Florian Koschat, said in an email on February 28th, 2006, to the offshore firm, Portcullis Trustnet, sent at time when Anglo Irish Bank was near its peak.
The records, among a trove of more than two million secret offshore documents, show that a number of offshore customers subsequently deposited money with Anglo’s Austrian bank and the bank’s subsidiary in the Isle of Man.
Anglo, which has required a public bailout of €29 billion after falling into State hands in January 2009, bought the Vienna-based bank in 1995.
The bank was sold in December 2008.