Anglo’s ghost looms large as Monday marks 10th anniversary of nationalisation

Bank was the first of five lenders to fall under control of the State during the financial crisis

Anglo Irish Bank premises on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin. Anglo was renamed Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) and put into liquidation in early 2013. Photograph:   Frank Miller

Anglo Irish Bank premises on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin. Anglo was renamed Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) and put into liquidation in early 2013. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

Monday will mark the 10th anniversary of the snap decision by then taoiseach Brian Cowen’s government’s to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank – the first of five lenders to fall under the control of the State during the financial crisis.

A decade on, and the ghost of Anglo, which was renamed Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) and put into liquidation in early 2013, is set to loom as large as ever.

A long-standing case taken in 2011 by the family of businessman Sean Quinn, who claim Anglo illegally lent them €2.34 billion of loans to shore up their investment in the bank in 2008, is set to finally come to trial in March.

Hearings are expected to last up to three months. After that, it’s believed conspiracy proceedings that IBRC took against members of the Quinn family, claiming they and others had wrongly sought to put hundreds of millions of euro of assets beyond the reach of the bank, will be heard.

Meanwhile, controversial junior bondholders in Anglo holding investments of €270 million, who refused to share in the bank’s losses during the crisis, will start to have their claims adjudicated by the liquidators of IBRC from this month. The liquidators conceded last month that this group would likely get their money back, after it announced that senior unsecured creditors, led by the State, which was owed €1.2 billion, were getting the final 50 per cent that they were owed.

More than 50 per cent of Anglo’s €73 billion of peak loans had been written off before the bank was put into wind-down. It cost taxpayers €29.3 billion in rescue funds – 46 per cent of the total amount of capital committed to the banking system during the financial crisis.

Anglo’s crippling bailout contributed more than any other single factor to the State seeking an international bailout in 2010. And while some of its former executives have been jailed in recent years on foot of various fraud convictions, no one has faced trial for issues that ultimately led to its collapse.

Happy Angloversary!

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