herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Anglo got too close to its borrowers, inquiry told

Simon Carswell
Simon Carswell

Customers were running Anglo Irish Bank at the time of the crash, journalist and author Simon Carswell has told the Banking Inquiry.

Anglo had two main flaws. It had convinced itself it was not a property lender and it got too close to its borrowers, he told the inquiry's Senator Michael Darcy.

Mr Carswell described Anglo at a "one trick pony in a frenetic land grab, leading a poorly regulated and highly competitive race for market share and profit".

The cosy relationship between the regulator and the bank meant its "massive exposure to the property market was allowed to balloon out of control with devastating consequences for the country".

When the author and former Finance Correspondent with the Irish Times was asked by chairman Ciaran Lynch about the relationship between banks, government and the regulator at the time, Mr Carswell said it was "extremely cosy" and "very, very passive."

He also said Irish Nationwide's top management was seen as having strong political connections and "operated unchecked by any kind of effective regulatory action".

hnews@herald.ie

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