Foreign bank’s troubles make waves here

By David Jones | March 11, 2009 02:33PM

From the March issue:
On Dec. 3, 2008, senior executives at Anglo Irish Bank assured investors during a year-end conference call that while the industry’s overall climate was beginning to deteriorate, the bank’s critical operations in North America remained strong and would withstand any near-term weakness in the economy. Tony Campbell, chief executive of Anglo Irish’s North American unit, boasted that more than 99 percent of loans in the bank’s $9.3 billion loan book for the region, spread out among 300 clients, were current. He called the number of impaired loans “negligible.” “I’d have to say that the team in the U.S. is very alert to the less benign economic trends and the likely impact on their loan portfolios,” said Campbell. However, court documents and interviews with analysts, attorneys and other key players paint a slightly different picture of Anglo Irish Bank, particularly in New York, which makes up 40 percent of its U.S. business.

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