Banking inquiry: Former Anglo official contradicts Kenny

Evidence given by Taoiseach to Oireachtas committee challenged by Matt Moran

Matt Moran, former chief financial officer at Anglo Irish Bank, arrives at banking inquiry at Leinster House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Matt Moran, former chief financial officer at Anglo Irish Bank, arrives at banking inquiry at Leinster House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

Evidence given by the Taoiseach to the banking inquiry has been contradictedby a former chief financial officer at Anglo Irish Bank.

Matt Moran told the committee he stood by emails he sent to Anglo chief executive David Drumm citing conversations he had with Enda Kenny.

The correspondence detailed briefings Mr Moran received from the Fine Gael leader in November 2009 on its and the Government’s future plans for Anglo .

Mr Kenny told the inquiry he rejected the details of the emails and said he would have “given no information whatsoever”.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Moran said he stood by the content of that correspondence.

“They are the only conversations [with Enda] because I sent notes immediately afterwards informing the leadership of the bank.

“There was noise about potential transactions or potential outcomes for the banks.

“There was noise all the time from multiple parties around that time, and he was just informing me, ‘this is the noise that I have heard’.”

Mr Moran had written to Mr Drumm on November 17th and 18th and said Mr Kenny had told him Anglo would be an off-shoot of Bank of Ireland.

The former Anglo official admitted the conversations were not of substance, as the Taoiseach had said. However, he added: “I think the context of the comments were ‘look there is noise you are going to be bought by this one or that one’.”

Mr Kenny had told the committee he rejects the allegations in the email when he appeared in July.

Mr Moran said his brother knew Mr Kenny well because their family business was across the road from the Taoiseach’s constituency office in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

He also said he contacted the Fine Gael leader at the request of Mr Drumm and arranged a meeting at Anglo’s offices in 2008.

Former Anglo finance director Willie McAteer also attended along with Fine Gael TD Richard Bruton.

He said Mr Drumm took them through Anglo’s business model.

Mr Moran also met Beverly Cooper Flynn. Ms Flynn, Mr Kenny and himself were all from Castlebar, he said.

Deeply regretted

The former chief financial officer told the inquiry he deeply regretted the failure of the bank and the pain it inflicted on so many people.

However, he insisted nobody within the bank anticipated the depth or length of the economic crisis.

Mr Moran was granted immunity by the Director of Public Prosecutions in return for giving evidence for the prosecution in the trial of three Anglo directors.

Under questioning from Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy, he denied his shareholding in the bank coloured his judgement.

However, he insisted: “My shareholding cost me very significantly but my shareholding never clouded my view.

“What was important was having open dialogue with brokers and investors.”

Mr Moran said stakeholders suffered from August 2007 to Anglo’s eventual nationalisation in 2009.

For Anglo, the crisis was compounded by businessman Seán Quinn’s Contracts for Difference in the institution.

Mr Moran told the inquiry: “The CFD was worse in the sense that it gave all the downside risk without any control to the underlying person who held the economic risk.”

Mr Moran served as chief financial officer during the years leading up to the bank bailout before taking up the role of finance director in January 2009, the same month Anglo was nationalised.