Drumm called Central Bank a ‘f***king shower of clowns’

Fraud trial hears recordings recovered by gardaí of conversations between Anglo bosses

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm referred to the financial regulator as “Freddie f***ing Fly” and said he intended to go to “that f***ing shower of clowns down in Dame Street” to look for emergency funding for the bank. Photograph: Collins

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm referred to the financial regulator as “Freddie f***ing Fly” and said he intended to go to “that f***ing shower of clowns down in Dame Street” to look for emergency funding for the bank. Photograph: Collins

 

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm referred to the financial regulator as “Freddie f***ing Fly” and said he intended to go to “that f***ing shower of clowns down in Dame Street” to look for emergency funding for the bank, his trial has heard.

On day 30 of Mr Drumm’s trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court the jury listened to recordings of phone calls between employees of Anglo, the Central Bank and McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors, all of which took place on dates in late September 2008.

Six of the eight calls played were conversations between Mr Drumm and former director of treasury at Anglo, John Bowe.

Prosecution barrister, Paul O’Higgins SC, told the jury the calls were deliberately recorded by the bank for business purposes, to preserve the details of transactions and deals. The recordings were recovered during the Garda investigation at the bank.

Two phone calls between Mr Drumm and Mr Bowe from September 18th, 2008 were played.

In one call Mr Drumm told Mr Bowe what he planned to do when he met “those f***ing clowns down on Dame Street” the following day when asking for emergency funding for Anglo. The Central Bank was at the time located on Dame Street.

He told Mr Bowe “I’m going to keep asking thick questions. When is the cheque coming?” and said they needed to “get into the f***ing simple speak”.

Mr Drumm is heard saying that if the Anglo bankers showed up with horrible numbers at least they looked like they had put up a fight.

“We were badly f***ing damaged like everyone else but we have rebuilt and here’s a f***ing balance sheet,” he tells to Mr Bowe he plans to say to the Financial Regulator.

He referred to “other f***ing non-normal things” such as the collapse of Lehman’s Bank in recent times.

Mr Drumm said that he planned to ask the Financial Regulator: “How are you getting on with that loan, lads?”

In the second call on September 18th, Mr Drumm asked Mr Bowe what would happen should the bank receive a ratings downgrade. Mr Bowe replied that Anglo’s entire book would be affected by such an event.

“We’re not a morsel, we’re half an elephant in their terms,” Mr Drumm said.

Mr Bowe then read a draft letter from Anglo to the Central Bank, regarding the Anglo’s liquidity ratio, and told Mr Drumm that there was “no point whinging about it as we’re effectively beholden to them”.

He said to Mr Bowe if the Central Bank did not give funding in the coming days they would cause a bank collapse.

The phone call ends with the men agreeing to meet for “a coffee and a pep talk” the following morning in advance of their meeting with the Financial Regulator.

Mr Bowe signed off by telling Mr Drumm “You the man.”

Mr Drumm (51), with an address in Skerries, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with former bank officials Denis Casey, William McAteer, John Bowe and others to defraud depositors and investors at Anglo by “dishonestly” creating the impression that deposits in 2008 were €7.2 billion larger than they were.

He has also pleaded not guilty to false accounting on December 3rd, 2008, by furnishing information to the market that Anglo’s 2008 deposits were €7.2 billion larger than they were.

The jury has been told that Mr Drumm accepts the facts of the 2008 transactions between Anglo and Irish Life & Permanent but he disputes they were fraudulent or dishonest.

The trial continues next week before Judge Karen O’Connor.