Central Bank seeks Drumm trial transcripts for probity inquiry

Regulator wants to see evidence to assess role of ex-bankers in fraudulent deposits scheme

The Central Bank is seeking transcripts from the recent trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm for an investigation into the fitness and probity of individuals to work in financial firms.

The bank has asked the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for transcripts from the 87-day trial that resulted in Drumm’s conviction for conspiracy to defraud and false accounting and a six-year prison sentence.

Judge Karen O’Connor has adjourned the hearing of the application by the Central Bank seeking the transcripts to allow for consultations between lawyers for the various parties to the long-running trial.

The Central Bank declined to comment as the application was still being dealt with by the courts.

Drumm’s conviction came two years after three other former bankers were jailed for their role in the 2008 fraudulent deposit scheme to make Anglo look €7.2 billion healthier than it actually was at the height of the crisis.

Former Anglo finance director Willie McAteer, former Irish Life & Permanent chief executive Denis Casey and Anglo's former de facto head of treasury John Bowe were convicted and received sentences of, respectively, 3½ years, two years, and nine months and two years for their roles in the conspiracy.

The four bankers, who had pleaded not guilty, were convicted for what Judge O’Connor called in the Drumm trial a “dishonest and fraudulent scheme” that created the “false and misleading impression” that Anglo’s customer deposits on September 30th, 2008, were €7.2 billion higher than they really were.

Since the aftermath of the financial crisis, the Central Bank has under its “fitness and probity” gatekeeper role increased powers to block individuals from taking up senior management roles in regulated financial services providers and to sanction administrative penalties against individuals over their roles in financial institutions.

A large number of former Anglo and Irish Life & Permanent executives gave evidence at both trials, detailing their knowledge of or roles in the transactions involving the two publicly quoted companies – both monitored by the then Financial Regulator – that conspired to manipulate Anglo’s public accounts.