Whose Bank Was It Anyway?




John Moran, former secretary general at the Department of Finance (top left) and Alan Dukes, former Chairman of IBRC (top right) and an excerpt from the minutes of a meeting held between IBRC and Department of Finance officials on December 1, 2011

How tense?

Freshly obtained FOI documents by Catherine Murphy reveal the level of mistrust and rancour between the Department of Finance and Alan Dukes, chairman of IBRC, formerly Anglo.

They include a letter Dukes sent to former secretary general at the Department of Finance John Moran on October 6, 2011.

Followed by the minutes of two meetings between IBRC and Department of Finance officials  – on November 24 and December 1, 2011 – when both Dukes and Moran were present.

The final document is a letter Moran sent to Dukes on December 23, 2011.

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Good times.

‘Mislaid’ IBRC minutes raise more questions, claims Murphy (Irish Times)

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26 thoughts on “Whose Bank Was It Anyway?

  1. Alan

    BROADSHEET! I LOVE your website. Best place to be entertained and get the an honest interruption of what is happening in the world.

      1. Anne

        Ditto titto..

        We really have to thank Denis and his lawyers too for the media attention this is getting and with Noonan having to bow to this pressure with the upgraded investigation.

        They’ve inadvertently brought this on themselves with their threats.. the law of karma is a bit of a b*tch sometimes.

  2. Malta

    Can we get a tl;dr, no?

    As some of us lazier readers have commented in the past, we only read the bits in bold…

  3. Just sayin'

    Those minutes are somewhat blunt for a civil servant. “Pissed off”? I would’ve expected “expressed frank concern”. Standards are dropping.

    1. Miko

      Alan Dukes was a politician not a civil servant. One of the more honest politicians who sacrificed this political ambitions in the early nineties with the tallaght strategy which at its core was being a contrastive opposition, not the opportunistic bullpooers that make up ours.

      1. Cluster

        Just sayin’ is referring to John Moran’s summary of Dukes’ comment rather than the comment itself.

        My guess is that there was personal needle between the two of them and the comment was so outrageous that Moran decided to give a literal summary

  4. Lilly

    Sounds as if John Moran was trying to do his job at least. I wonder why he left and what he’s up to now?

  5. SOMK


    A) Duke’s letter:

    Starts off by mention that the bank could be wound up much more quickly than ten years (and it was, spectacularly so).

    Stop trying to interfere we know best.

    Mentions there should be no concern about meetings between bank bigwigs (CEO & CFO) and the auditing team. I’d imagine the auditing team would have been involved in setting the infamous 1.25%, since they’re job would have been to go through the books, dig sort out the dross from the gold and recommend how to manage those assets appropriately to maximise stakeholder outcomes, so dross gets low interest rates and write downs and gold is managed.

    Mentions of the financial regulator adopting a ‘Locus Stand’ approach (which I gather to mean, stand off-ish, won’t interfere unless we ‘have to’).

    Gives out about how the department are obsessed with the numbers on the board, “I frankly cannot understand why your “experienced advisors” are hung up on the number.”

    States at one point that there have been times that the ‘board and management’ of the banks have taken decisions against the advice of the NTMA/Department of Finance and that they have always been correct. “In each case it has been proven that the bank’s path and subsequent path were correct. In some cases the result were to avoid dire consequences…” Would be nice to know what incidents he’s referring to here, if the banks had such spectacularly competent people at their disposal, how on earth did we have such a massive banking collapse?

    “The highly competent team merely wants to get on with the job”.


    “Leave us alone, like the regulator does, we’re banking geniuses!”

    B) Meeting(s)

    Meeting 1

    Alan Dukes doesn’t want these subject to FOI (so you’re reading this is making Alan Dukes, sad, you monster)

    Stuff about winding down deleveraging Irish, UK and US assets.

    Blackstones role as both advising on how to sell assets from UK (the good stuff) and also potentially bidding on the same assets. No need to worry about Chinese Walls (“‘When I hear “Chinese wall” I think “you’re a f***ing liar.”’-The Big Short ) because Blackrock will have seperate teams.

    Murray pushing for a new CFO (chief financial officer) to take a ‘fresh look at things”, Dukes says everything is fine, current CFO doing great job, State is just looking for change for the sake of it.

    Meeting 2

    Dukes says we have two new director so we don’t need a new one. (This reads very inconsistent on Dukes’ part, in the last meeting he argues that there’s no need for a new CFO, change for the sake of change, now here he’s saying, “we’ve had change (ie. change for the sake of change), so we don’t need any change)

    Murray essentially says “Look the state owns the banks so if the state wants a change it should get one.”

    Dukes says they have appointed tow new board directors.

    Murray says the banks has been putting up obstacles, Dukes again says the state is looking for change for the sake of change, Murray denies this, and says it’s change because of concerns about what is happening at board-level.

    Dukes keeps going on about it being “change for the sake of change.” doesn’t understand what the department’s problem is.

    Murray mentions how one group (TH) are saying to wind down the US book over 6-7 year, another (eastdill) said to do it over 2-3 month, the Eastdill report wasn’t sent to the department. Mike Aynsley (the CEO) says these were draft reports that management hadn’t seen yet, Murray asked why did management need to see them first.

    Murray raises concerns over how much staff are being paid, wth bonuses ‘baked in’ to their contracts and over 300 people on more than €150,000 a year, also mentions increase in pensions, on neither was the statew consulted, says this kind of things needs to stop.

    Dukes says the bank can’t be political, Murray says the bank is poltiical because of how much money has been poured in, Dukes says he’s pissed off about the state complaining about how much money IRBC is eating up. He also says there’s no need to change the management team because of a change in government.

    Murray says it’s not because there’s a change of government.

    TLDR: State/department wants know to know what’s going on because they own the bank, Dukes says everything is fine and the state is just being weird in wanting to know how that 25 billion is being spent, state says it’s not being weird, Dukes says yes it is and it’s pissing him off.

    C Murray letter

    First says Duke’s letter is OTT and personal, which is why he’s writing a letter rather than saying this in person, shocked at personal nature of letter.

    says he never said Dukes wasn’t acting in the public interest.

    That he had no issue with the fact Dukes was appointed by the last government, rather that the job has changed from being trying to get the bank on it’s feet to winding it down, tried to get people on the board who reflected this, the bank has blocked these efforts.

    Mentions how he also just wants to get on with it, that trying to solve the relationship issues between the bank and state has been very difficult.

    Mentions how Dukes has been unfair in characterising what’s he’s doing as fiddling when Romes burns

    Says he’s discussed this with the minister and they agree on the need to sit down together and sort things out

    TLDR: Dukes’ letter is personal, that when Dukes got the job they still though the bank would live, now it’s going to die, so it’s a different job and the board should reflect this. Wants to get on with it, has spoken to the Minister.

      1. SOMK

        Ach should read ‘Moran’, got distracted by the thought of Bill Murray, happens to people born in the 80’s from time to time.

    1. dereviled

      No worries SOMK, it was a fair synopsis.
      (Bill Murray would have rekt Dukes though)

  6. Truth in the News

    We need to grasp the bigger picture, who ended up with all the assets that IBRC
    held, what concessions were given, contrived obstruction was to cloud the real
    facts, who were connected in the corridors of power and finance to avail of the
    chance to make a quick buck on the corpse of the Celtic Tiger, since there was
    considerable opposition by Noonan to disclose anything about Siteserv, is there
    a political dimension, in other words a Fine Gael imitation of the previous FF debacle…..the Public at Large now believe this has been the case….remember
    Kenny’s promises of “tranparency” and before him John Bruton claims that
    everything would be like looking through “Pane of Glass”.

  7. KevM

    Rose Hynes, Alan Dukes, Phil Hogan – Siteserv – water meter contracts.

    Why has no one talked to Rose Hynes about the closed door meetings with Phil Hogan?

    Why, when there was so much opposition by Dukes to moves by Dept of Finance under Noonan, was Dukes not relieved of his duties and position? Was this all an act?

    Who was appointed to the board by Dept. of Finance? What more does John Moran know about the deleveraging of assets in Ireland? Does he have knowledge of the Siteserv sale?

    Fine Gael ran on water charges. Everyone at the top knew they were coming.

    Why exactly was he moved from the public interest position to the board? His attitude is nothing less then hostile to changes being made by the recently elected government of the day, how is that in the public interest?

  8. Anne

    An awful lot of da feeeeelings in those letters.
    It’s like a case of jilted lovers here ffs.

    Dukes shoulda been told to piss right off.

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