Anglo Irish Bank was an Irish bank headquartered in Dublin from 1964 to 2011. It went into wind-down mode after nationalisation in 2009. In July 2011, Anglo Irish merged with the Irish Nationwide Building Society, with the new company being named the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation. Michael Noonan, the Minister for Finance stated that the name change was important in order to remove "the negative international references associated with the appalling failings of both institutions and their previous managements."
Anglo Irish mainly dealt in business and commercial banking, and had only a limited retail presence in the major Irish cities. It also had wealth management and treasury divisions. Anglo Irish had operations in Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Isle of Man.
The bank's heavy exposure to property lending, with most of its loan book being to builders and property developers, meant that it was badly affected by the downturn in the Irish property market in 2008. In December 2008, the Irish government announced plans to inject €1.5 billion of capital for a 75% stake in the bank, effectively nationalising it. The Dublin and London Stock Exchanges immediately suspended trading in Anglo Irish's shares, with the final closing share price of €0.22 representing a fall of over 98% from its peak.
On 16 January 2009, the Taoiseach Brian Cowen stated that is was "business as usual" at Anglo Irish Bank and that people should be reassured that the bank is solvent. Between June and September 2009, the Minister for Finance provided €4 billion in capital. In a statement on 30 March 2010, a day before Anglo Irish Bank reported its financial results, the Minister Of Finance, Brian Lenihan announced an injection of €8.3 billion into the bank, noting that a further €10 billion may be required at a later stage to cover future losses and ensure an adequate capital base.
Since the nationalization of Anglo Irish Bank a number of controversies have arisen over certain business practices and loans, including loans to directors, and loans to people associated with Brendan Murtagh, EMPG and the QUINN group.
On 31 March 2010, Anglo Irish Bank reported results for the 15 months to December 2009. Loss for the period were €12.7 billion, with an operating profit before impairment of €2.4 billion and an impairment charges of €15.1 billion driving the overall result. It is the largest loss in Irish corporate history. Total assets declined to €85.2 billion at the end of 2009 from €101.3 billion in September 2008.
The European Commission allowed the Irish Government on 10 August 2010 to temporarily grant €10 billion to Anglo Irish Bank - this included an additional €1.4 billion sought by Ireland to allow the nationalised bank meet its regulatory capital requirements in light of increased costs associated with transferring loans to the National Asset Management Agency.
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“I have passed down the river before sunrise on a summer morning, between fields of lilies still shut in sleep; and when, at length, the flakes of sunlight from over the bank fell on the surface of the water, whole fields of white blossoms seemed to flash open before me, as I floated along, like the unfolding of a banner, so sensible is this flower to the influence of the suns rays.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
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—Ishmael Reed (b. 1938)
“We Irish are too poetical to be poets; we are a nation of brilliant failures, but we are the greatest talkers since the Greeks.”
—Oscar Wilde (18541900)