Statement issued by Minister for Finance


The following is a statement issued by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan tonight:

The Minister for Finance, Mr Brian Lenihan, TD, today welcomed the appointment of Mr Donal O¿Connor as the new Chairman of Anglo-Irish Bank to replace Mr Sean FitzPatrick. The Minister noted that this appointment was made following consultation with him.

The Minister said that this change would not interrupt the substantial progress which has been made with Anglo Irish Bank in relation to the recapitalisation programme he announced last Sunday (14 December 2008) and reiterated his commitment to underwrite the capital needs of Anglo Irish Bank on appropriate terms and to ensure its long term strength and viability as a bank of systemic importance in Ireland.

The Minister expressed his disappointment at the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Mr Sean FitzPatrick as Chairman but believes that strong corporate governance must be upheld by all financial institutions in the Irish financial system. He welcomes the Board¿s decision to conduct a review in this regard. He understands that the financial regulator is already engaged in discussions with the institution on these issues.

The Minister said that Mr O¿Connor, who has a substantial and impressive commercial track record, seems a natural choice to lead this financial institution in what is a challenging period for all financial institutions.

The Minister said that he looks forward to progressing discussions with Mr O¿Connor and his board in relation to Anglo-Irish¿ involvement in the State¿s recapitalisation programme. He noted that these discussion are already far advanced and that he expects that the details of these discussion can be announced very shortly.

Anglo Irish Bank remains covered by the Irish Government Guarantee so its depositors and creditors are assured of the security of their funds. The Minister restated that the Government will ensure financial stability within Ireland and will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure that systemically relevant institutions, such as Anglo Irish Bank, remain sound and viable.

The Minister noted that he is happy with the significant progress made this week with a number of institutions arising from the announcement by the Government of its recapitalisation programme of up to €10 billion. The Minister expects to be in a position to make a comprehensive announcement in this regard in January.