Anglo’s meetings with Finance

Readers might recall that back in November, I published an FOI released to Deputy Joan Burton. She appealed a decision by the Department of Finance to refuse the release of certain documents to the Information Commissioner, and the Commissioner appears to have settled the matter with the Department – resulting in the release of more documents. Joan was kind enough to pass a copy onto me. The Irish Independent reported on the documents last week.

The documents contain the minutes of a meeting between the Department of Finance and Anglo representatives in December 2008. Sean FitzPatrick and Kevin Cardiff were present. At the meeting, Anglo proposed that Standard Life and the Irish Government would help underwrite a rights issue, the draft plan is included in the documents. It also contains a letter from Anglo chairman Donal O’Connor, dated January 15, 2009, where he states:

First, we have considered the funding and the assets and liabilities of the Bank and we confirmthat in the contextof the Government’s commitment the Bank remains solvent. Secondly, while we cannot predict the response of our depositors and other creditors to nationalisation with accuracy, we confirm our belief that, given all necessary support, the Bank can remain a viable institution in the context of nationalisation.

And as late as January 8, days before nationalisation, staff at the Department appeared to be still asking how many branches Anglo had.

Further to our conversation this morning, we have offices in six foreign jurisdictions:
1. The UK operations are a branch in accordance with Article 25 of Directive 2006/48/EC. This is usually referred to as “an EU branch”. Partially regulated by the FSA.
2. Germany – as UK. Partially regulated by the BaFin.
3. Austria – as UK. Partially regulated by the FMA.
4. United States – three representative offices in Massachusetts, New York and Illinoislicensed by the Federal Reserve Bank and each State Regulator.
5. Isle of Han – a subsidiary licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission.
6. Jersey – a branch licensed by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

I also confirm our conversation that we will launch the Mortgage Bank without the Govt Guarantee in place, and once the CEBS rules become clearer on the disclosure for Guarantors we will look to have the Mortgage Bank included.

And it includes this gem from Sean FitzPatrick, on how long it would take Standard Life to do due diligence:

SF Indicated that due diligence would take circa 48 hours. He acknowledged that they need to prove that they can get a substantial part of the funds required and that they need to bridge a credibility gap between Finance/FR and Anglo’s thinking.