'Get the f**kin’ money in' - tapes show Drumm happy to abuse State guarantee

Revelations from tapes have former chief executive saying: 'We won’t do anything blatant, but . . . we have to get the money in'

David Drumm, former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, laughed at the prospect of abusing the State guarantee, the latest revelations from tapes reveal.

"We won't do anything blatant, but . . . we have to get the money in . . . get the f***in' money in, get it in," he tells a senior manager at the bank, John Bowe.

In another recording, Mr Bowe and another senior executive at the bank, Peter Fitzgerald, are heard laughing about the prospects of nationalisation. They see it as "fantastic" and are delighted at the prospect of becoming civil servants.

The latest revelations appear in today's Irish Independent.


Government sources last night expressed confidence that a parliamentary inquiry into the banking collapse will begin in the autumn.

Renewed pressure for an inquiry followed the publication yesterday of part of the transcript of a taped telephone conversation between two Anglo Irish Bank executives in September 2008, just two weeks before the then government’s decision to issue a bank guarantee.

One of them, John Bowe, told the other, Peter Fitzgerald, about Anglo's approach to the Central Bank seeking €7 billion in emergency funding, adding that "the reality is that actually we need more than that". He said the strategy with the Central Bank was "you pull them in, you get them to write a big cheque, and they have to keep, they have to support their money, you know."

Yesterday both the former bank executives issued statements saying they were not part of any attempt to mislead the Central Bank and that they knew of no such effort.

Mr Bowe said last night he deeply regretted the tone and the language he used in the phone call, which he said was both improper and inappropriate. Mr Bowe was head of capital markets at Anglo in 2008 while Mr Fitzgerald was head of retail banking.

New legislation empowering the Oireachtas to hold parliamentary inquiries is due to become law shortly and the Government is determined to use it to press ahead with an inquiry into the banking collapse as quickly as possible.

Government sources rejected suggestions by Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming that a full Oireachtas inquiry into the banking crisis could not be held for a number of years until any criminal cases arising from the sector’s collapse were concluded.

Terms of reference
A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Enterprise and Reform, which is sponsoring the inquiries Bill, said that under its terms Oireachtas inquiries could be carried out in parallel with any criminal proceedings. While they would not be empowered to make findings of individual culpability, they would be able to inquire into the facts surrounding the banking collapse.

The terms of reference of any inquiry will have to avoid encroaching on specific matters that are the subject of allegations of criminal misconduct.

Minister for Public Enterprise and Reform Brendan Howlin has long advocated the need for an effective and legally robust parliamentary inquiry into the events that occurred on the night of the bank guarantee.

Yesterday politicians expressed shock and annoyance at the information contained in the taped conversation, reported in the Irish Independent.

“I understand the rage and the anger of so many people who have been affected by all of this in their daily lives,” said Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Lack of information
He said he had been frustrated by the lack of information at what had happened in the months leading up to the banking collapse.

“I’ve made the point in the Dáil on many occasions that in the Department of the Taoiseach I don’t have any paperwork to advise me as to the conversation that took place between members of the government and the banks and the run-in to that period.”

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said it was now time to get to the bottom of what happened in the banking collapse.

“I find it shocking, but of course I never really believed that what we were told up to now about what happened prior to the Fianna Fáil government decision to bring in the bank guarantee in 2008,” he said.

Mr Gilmore said that the decision cost the Irish people billions of euro. “I think we need to get to the bottom of how the decisions were made and what was behind them.”

The chairman of the Oireachtas Finance Committee Ciaran Lynch said the latest disclosures were proof-positive that an inquiry into the banking collapse was urgently required.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent