Representatives of IBRC (ex-Anglo), including chairman and former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes and CEO Mike Aynsley are before the
Public Accounts Committee Joint Committee on Public Expenditure and Reform this morning.
Fianna Fail’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath asked Mr Aynsley (above) about those texts.
Later Aynsley moved to rubbish ‘anonymous notes’ alleging some carry-on between banking officials, IBRC clients and private jets.
That’ll be Denis O’Brien’s private jet so
What rumours are these?
Michael McGrath: “I think you need to understand why I’m asking this question because we’re trying to be absolutely reassured that what’s left of the former Anglo and Irish Nationwide has moved away with entirely, from the culture that prevailed in those institutions where there were very close relationships between the people running those institutions and their largest clients and borrowers. And I want that reassurance from you because you are involved in making commercial decisions involving tens of billions and hundreds of billions of euro. And you can go through all the governance process that you have referred to Mr Dukes, but it does come down to judgement calls ultimately. Now it’s not my job to say whether or not you’re making the correct judgement calls but it is my job to be reassured that you’re going about it the right way. And that there is nothing else involved, much in anyway, influencing your decisions. So I’d be interested in your comments on that.”
Mike Aynsley: “Look there’s nothing untoward in anyway about the approach to Mr McKillen to advise him of the decision put forward. The reality was that we were going through a process that Mr McKillen and the Barclay brothers’ representatives were well and truly aware of, which culminated in a submission to the board and approval of the board to maintain a process of consensual restructuring with Mr McKillen around his loans, rather than selling a portion of those to the Barclay brothers. Now we came out of those meetings and my colleague Mr Woodhouse was given the authority to contact the Barclay brothers and inform them of the decision. I intended to call Mr McKillen but of course, couldn’t get hold of him. He doesn’t do email. So I sent him a text and it was as simple as that. And the reminder to him, following it up, was simply that this was a board decision and it’s a bank-client relationship that shouldn’t be divulged. Of course, being aware at the time that he was acutely in litigation with the Barclay brothers it was inappropriate, we felt, that he should admittedly go to the press with that. Of course it ultimately came out during the discovery process in that litigation. That’s all that there was to it. Now I would like to just go on a minute because it is a very important aspect in you being confident that this bank is operating in a total other way than the old management of the bank, pre-nationalisation. I think that the key point here is that there is no one individual in the organisation who has the capacity to influence and make decisions around any of these loans. We have a very well structured governance process…”
And then later
McGrath: “There’s one answer that you could give, which would be the departure from the practices of the past in the institutions you inherited, would be on the issue of hospitality. And I know the bank has a very clear policy in that regard that, in general, directors and employees must not accept gifts or the conveyance of anything of value, including entertainment from current and prospective banking customers or suppliers, is that fully adhered to in the respect of IBRC?”
Aynsley: “We have a full entertainment and travel policy in place. We still maintain a situation where we will have entertainment, client entertainment in certain circumstances, that’s controlled under the policy. It’s specified under the policy, what is appropriate, what is not appropriate. There is, and I’ve seen some of the anonymous notes that have been sent to various members and press, that have been sent on to me, I can assure you that, as far as I know in the organisation, there is no participation by any member of the bank’s management team or staff in any of the allegations that have been made around, flying in jets and staying in people’s personal homes and all these sorts of things”