03/09/2015: Peter Fitzgerald – Former Director of Corporate & Retail Treasury, Anglo Irish Bank
Peter Fitzgerald Sure. For those sitting in the Gallery, these documents will be displayed on the screens to your left and right. Peter Fitzgerald The … I became aware from a phone call on the evening of its nationalisation, in other words about two hours beforehand. Given the strong growth of the UK retail funding franchise, a full launch plan was developed and under consideration to enter the German savings market in I would have still been quite active in the corporate deposit area—— Deputy Michael McGrath Okay.
If Anglo had collapsed or had been allowed to collapse, how would this have worked itself out? I think it was February it was presented. So it was about slowing, curtailing growth so that we could recover and move on. Peter Fitzgerald Yes, it was an issue. On page 10 and 11 of your statement, you say:.
Thank you very much, Chair. Peter Fitzgerald I think the roots of the crisis that led to a liquidity crisis were based on solvency as opposed to liquidity. I had no involvement with the authorities but I had a sense that they were. Was that known among you generally?
Peter Fitzgerald Certainly it was a concern to the bank.
Then the report was obviously left at the end of that and it was discussed. That the initial lending had been made to buy but then the crisis came and no more—— Mr. Peter Fitzgerald Sorry, I was a member of both, yes. And in terms of the second part of your question, the rumours that were in the marketplace — and I think are already talked about in the public domain — about the reasons for the short-selling of the Anglo Irish Bank share price really only affected the business that I ran in the bank on 17 March.
Well if you think about what the treasury business was doing, it was basically taking money, predominantly from counterparties as opposed to lending it, so the risk was on their side as opposed to ours, yes? Yes, persons. Well, through the ALCO committee on which I sat, the bank had internal liquidity ratios, and also then it had regulatory liquidity ratios. Therefore, the utmost caution should be taken not to prejudice those proceedings.
Fitzgerald, to finish, did you read the Simon Carswell book? Peter Fitzgerald, former director of corporate and retail treasury at Anglo Irish Bank. Peter Fitzgerald Yes, so the day after for approximately four days. Thank you very much, Mr. Finally, I would like to highlight that at the time of writing and submitting my witness statement to this inquiry, I do not hold any documents or other memoranda such as minutes of meetings from my time in the bank and, therefore, its contents are solely based on my recollection of events at the time.
The resulting findings highlighted, among other matters, the Banks high concentration to property and development lending, the thin nature of its funding base and the possible need to raise more equity as a capital buffer for possible future [use].
Oh yes. Your job was to get … to look after the retail deposits——.
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Large loans, for example, for speculative land development and then to justify this you had to fund the developers who were speculating with a construction of some kind to go on it. Sure, but, I mean, the sense comes from what people were saying and what you were hearing and what was being discussed. There was a dinner with Mr. In the period leading up to the guarantee, were you aware of any discussions that might have been taking place in Anglo that the bank was seeking to be guaranteed or may be guaranteed?