On 7 February 2013, Anglo Irish Bank went into liquidation. The move shocked the financial industry, not least Mike Aynsley, the now former Chief Executive Officer for the stricken bank.
The so-called “Project Dawn” took place overnight, seemingly erasing all the work Aynsley and his newly-appointed board had managed to do. The financial data was being collated for presentation, and the rebranded bank – called IBRC – had been on the brink of reform.
Then the project hit, and liquidation ensued. Aynsley and his team were suddenly out of a job, and the Australian returned home after three and a half years spent away from his family saving the troubled bank.
The economic situation in Ireland has been laid at the feet of the beleaguered firm, but Aynsley made an interesting revelation in a recent interview with the Sunday Independent: the bank had been solvent before the dawn rose on Anglo Irish.
The financial expert corresponded via email with the newspaper, resulting in a lengthy interview that illustrated the real situation at Anglo Irish bank, despite his adherence to banking confidentiality rules.
The bank, Aynsley said, was “solvent, and in full compliance with its capital requirements” up until the very engagement of the Joint Special Liquidators on that fateful day. It would seem that the government, rather than taking the solvent bank and trusting in its ability to turn the situation around, went ahead with the move that would make it most certainly insolvent.
Aynsley was incredibly diplomatic on the subject, not confirming any of the tricky statements put to him by the interviewer. The subject of the promissory note – worth €25 billion, rather than the €28 billion that Aynsley estimated would be needed – is one that has puzzled sceptic industry commentators.
When it was put to him that the promissory note was merely a tactic to work the situation to the government’s favour, the former CEO explained the real process. “The result [of that] would erode the capital of the bank and put it into an insolvent position. Again, you would need to have all this confirmed by the SL or the Department of Finance or Central Bank as to what they did. From the State’s perspective though, this wouldn’t make any difference to the PN restructuring as all the entities involved are related parties so it’s a matter of ‘left pocket, right pocket’.”
It’s clear the situation is going to need further scrutiny to find out exactly what happened, but the movement towards clarity and transparency shown by executives such as Aynsley will bring the truth to light.
To read Aynsley’s full comments on the situation, please click this link http://www.slideshare.net/DermottKelly/tom-lyons-anglo-was-solvent-days-before-state-pulled-plug-independent-25174624