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Proper investigation into Anglo’s toxic loans must be initiated – Morgan

24 February, 2009

Speaking in the Dáil this evening on a Private Members Motion on Anglo Irish Bank Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan called for a proper investigation to be initiated into the bank's toxic loans.

Deputy Morgan said, "It's been five months since the Government, the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator had in their possession the PWC report on Anglo Irish Bank yet it was only today that a Garda raid was finally made on its head quarters.

"Everyone on this side of the House had serious concerns that the Bank was rotten to the core. We said this at the time of the nationalisation that Anglo was a poisoned bank but I don't think anyone could have envisaged the extent of corruption that was endemic in this institution.

"You and your colleagues came before us in January asking us to nationalise a bank that had given €800 million to six customers, was involved in a six billion euro transfer with Irish permanent and had given out €180m in loans to its directors. The report itself said the Bank has 'very large exposures'. You had a duty to tell the public about these toxic debts before asking the tax payer to take on the burden.

"Last Saturday 120,000 people marched on the streets in opposition to what they perceive as the Gross injustice of making low paid workers pay for the mistakes of Fianna Fáil and the bankers. Everyone would expect to play their part in a fair economic recovery plan but you cannot punish those on low and middle incomes while you are still letting the banks and their executive away with embezzlement and fraud.

"The Minister makes the outlandish claim that he didn't get around to reading what was essentially an attempt to cook the books at the time of the Guarantee Scheme, but you cannot deny that your colleagues in the Department did know this. And we all know how the Financial Regulator warmly welcomed the moves of Willie McAteer last September.

"So why is it that it has taken so long for Ireland's Enron to be investigated? As a result of holding back on a proper criminal investigation material evidence could have been destroyed. As a result of all this confidence in the Minister, the Government and our Financial Regulator is at rock bottom. It is vital that a proper investigation is initiated into the toxic loans of this institution." ENDS

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