Opinion: Anglo tapes leave job-hunting former staff reeling
Professional staff whose only mistake was working for the bank are the true victims of leaked tapes
The arrogant, uncaring and reckless attitudes revealed by the testosterone tapes has horrified us all. It’s as if the entire nation has been victimised by the Anglo corner boys.
But one group of victims now stand doubly victimised – former employees of the old Anglo Irish Bank, who are still on the staff of IBRC. Professionals who had nothing to do with the high-risk approach at the top. People who, quite literally never did anything wrong but whose future job prospects have been squarely kicked by the revival of the Anglo horror.
Those former Anglo employees know only too well that guilt-by-association may cripple their chances of getting another job in a sector for which they’re highly qualified and in which they’ve gained solid experience.
Looking at the CVs of several of them over the past year, it’s been evident how sadly desperate they are to hide the Anglo bit of their careers. They major on their academic achievements (usually tremendous – these were the brightest and best of their generation) and they reverse the usual order, so the Anglo section comes at the end and is as brief as possible.
Some of them had begun to hope that the IBRC period, those years between the Anglo collapse and the present, might create a buffer, preventing their career from crashing straight into the Anglo wall.
They had begun to hope that, with Sean FitzPatrick charged and having to pitch up at a Garda station each week to prove his presence in Ireland, prospective employers would pay less attention to the personnel and culture of their previous employer.
And then came last week and the publication of the tapes. They listened to the tapes online while simultaneously going through the transcripts in the newspaper. They did it again and again and again.
“I think for everybody else, it’s kind of a spectator sport,” one of them said. “It’s kind of like ‘Oh, my God, these guys had no code, no conscience, no sense of values or responsibility, they were macho, they were this, they were that.’
“But for anybody who had been in Anglo but had not in their golden circle, it was like being found guilty – in public – of a crime you had no hand, act or part in.”
That man had a job interview on Monday. The job specifications match his skills and competences point for point. He is, in short, so perfectly qualified for the post that an interview was inevitable and appointment, post-interview, clearly justified.
But from the moment he walked in the door of the financial institution’s boardroom and sat down facing three of its top managers, he knew he was a goner.