Anglo Irish Bank's director of group finance to step down

 

THE DEPARTURE of senior executives at State-owned Anglo Irish Bank continued yesterday with the bank’s director of group finance, Matt Moran, announcing his intention to step down.

Mr Moran becomes the third senior executive to leave the bank in less than a fortnight, after the head of Anglo’s Irish operations, Pat Whelan, and acting chief risk officer Peter Butler resigned.

Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said last week there would be “substantial clean-out at the executive level” within the nationalised financial institution.

In an e-mail to staff, Anglo’s chief executive, Mike Aynsley, said Mr Moran was leaving the bank “to take up new opportunities”.

Mr Moran, a chartered accountant, joined Anglo in 2002 and was appointed chief financial officer in 2004. He became director of group finance last February, a month after the bank was taken into State ownership.

Mr Moran had “demonstrated focus, dedication and resolve in each of the roles he has held throughout his time with the bank, particularly in his most recent position as a director, group finance”, said Mr Aynsley in his e-mail.

The bank has also informed a small number of staff that they have been approved under the redundancy programme, which will see 230 staff depart initially.

Mr Moran had a loan of about €2 million with Anglo in the months leading up to the bank’s nationalisation, which had been taken out to buy the bank’s shares. It’s understood a significant part of the loan has been repaid and Mr Moran has agreed repayment terms for the remainder.

As chief financial officer, Mr Moran was a key member of the executive team that presented the bank’s annual results for the year to September 30th, 2008.

At the results presentation to analysts last December, Mr Moran described Anglo’s capital base as “one of the strongest in the sector”.

Last May, Anglo reported a pretax loss of €4.1 billion in the six months to March 31st last, wiping out its capital and forcing the State to inject €4 billion.

In a separate development yesterday, ratings agency Moody’s said it may downgrade Anglo’s bank deposit and senior debt ratings, following the submission of the bank’s restructuring plan to the European Commission.

Moody’s placed the ratings on review for possible downgrade on the “likelihood of potential outcomes for the bank in the future”, including the proposed restructuring to a good bank-bad bank.

“The major concern we have is that debt investors may be required to shoulder some of the potential losses,” said Ross Abercromby, analyst at Moody’s.

There was concern debt investors “may suffer unless the bank continues to receive substantial ongoing support from the Irish government”, he said.