David Drumm trial hears that in banking slang 'a yard' means 'a billion'

By Sarah-Jane Murphy

A former Anglo Irish Bank executive said “all those guys supposed to do us special favours” had fallen away by September 2008, leaving only Irish Life and Permanent as a viable option for a back to back loan, a court has heard.

Ciaran McArdle, former head of liquidity at Anglo, told a non-executive director at the bank that except for Irish Life, monies from other banks should be treated as corporate funding “as they're only doing it because of the government guarantee.”

David Drumm (51) with an address in Skerries, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with former bank officials Denis Casey, William McAteer, John Bowe and others to defraud depositors and investors at Anglo by “dishonestly” creating the impression that deposits in 2008 were €7.2 billion larger than they were.

He has also pleaded not guilty to false accounting on December 3, 2008, by furnishing information to the market that Anglo's 2008 deposits were €7.2 billion larger than they were.

David Drumm

The former chief executive of the bank accepts that in 2008 transactions worth €7.2 billion took place between Anglo and Irish Life & Permanent (ILP) but he disputes they were fraudulent or dishonest.

On day 42 of his trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Mary Rose Gearty SC, prosecuting, played a phone call, recorded September 29, 2008, between Mr McArdle and Donal O'Connor.

In evidence Mr McArdle told the jury that Anglo were in ongoing discussions with ILP in August and September 2008, as other potential funding initiatives “were not materialising for one reason or another.”

In another call, recorded on September 25 2008, Mr McArdle discussed the mechanics of the upcoming transaction with Paul Kane, a liquidity manger at ILP.

Mr Kane asked Mr McArdle how ILP were going “to take it off Anglo”.

Mr McArdle said he was going to give the funds to ILP for a week, “over the turn”, and joked that ILP could have the funds for two weeks if they wanted.

“I know I can't do fucking six yards of funny stuff,” Mr McArdle said on the recording. He told the jury that in banking slang, a yard means “a billion”.

The two men on the call then discussed the features of the March 2008 transactions between Anglo, ILP and Irish Life Assurance.

Mr Kane asked Mr McArdle if he could remember how “we got the money from you to them”.

Mr McArdle said he thought the money was “physically paid to me”. Mr Kane replied that ILP was used as a “clearing bank” during that transaction.

The phone call ended with Mr Kane telling Mr McArdle that “yer man was on with Mr Fitzpatrick, they're all involved, they all know.”

The jury also listened to a phone call between the prosecution witness and Paula Twomey of the Central Bank on November 4, 2008.

Referring to the balance sheet figures which incorporated the September deal with ILP, Mr McArdle told Ms Twomey that there were so many spreadsheets sent to so many people at that time.

“There's huge confusion here,” he said.

The trial, now in its seventh week, continues before Judge Karen O'Connor and a jury.

Most Read in Ireland