Republic of Ireland news

David Drumm: Who is he and how did he become Anglo Irish Bank chief?

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm following an earlier hearing at Dublin District Court. Picture by Brian Lawless, Press Association
Michelle Devane, Press Association

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has been found guilty of fraud conspiracy charges.

The Dubliner was extradited back to the Republic to face fraud conspiracy charges over the ill-fated lender's collapse.

Mr Drumm was charged with 33 offences linked to his running of the doomed bank after authorities succeeded in making him return from the US in 2016.

He has been on trial at Dublin's Criminal Courts since the start of this year, but Mr Drumm was once at the helm of the third largest bank in the Republic at the height of country's unprecedented economic boom.


Born in November 1966 to a large middle-class family, Mr Drumm grew up in Skerries, north Dublin, and was educated in the local Christian Brothers school. Instead of heading to university Mr Drumm joined Deloitte and Touche where he qualified as a chartered accountant.

After five years in auditing working for two companies he joined Anglo Irish Bank as an assistant manager in 1993. He took a 40% pay cut in doing so.

The ambitious 20-something quickly caught the attention of the then chief executive Sean FitzPatrick, or "Seanie" as he was known. Anglo Irish Bank was founded in 1964, but it wasn't until Mr FitzPatrick became the chief in the mid-1980s that the bank began to charge forward.

The collapse of Anglo Irish Bank cost taxpayers €29 billion

Mr Drumm's big break came in 1997, when he was asked by Mr FitzPatrick to set up the lender's operations in the US. Along with his wife Lorraine and two young daughters, Mr Drumm moved to an affluent suburb in Boston where they stayed until 2002. On his return home Mr Drumm was promoted to the role of head of Irish lending.

Despite his internal success, it was a surprise to most when, at the age of 37, Mr Drumm landed the coveted role to succeed Mr FitzPatrick. He fended off the bank's number two for the previous 10 years, Tiarnan O'Mahoney, to take the top job.

In an interview with the Irish Times in 2005, after he took up the role, Mr Drumm told the newspaper Mr FitzPatrick was quick to "throw the keys" to him, telling him to get on with the job.

"Sean chose to hand it on," Mr Drumm said. "He wanted to see new energy and enthusiasm come into the job."

By May 2007, two-and-a-half years after taking over the reins, Anglo's pre-tax profits had grown by almost 70%.

That year the bank was worth €12.4 billion, ranking fourth on the Stock Exchange league table after Allied Irish Bank, building firm CRH and Bank of Ireland.

But Ireland's boom wasn't to last. Anglo was nationalised just one year later in November 2008. Its collapse cost Irish taxpayers €29 billion (£22.4 billion).

Mr Drumm resigned, along with two other executives, after hundreds of millions of euro worth of directors' loans were uncovered.

The former Anglo Irish Bank headquarters in Dublin

A few months later in early 2009, Mr Drumm and his family moved back to Massachusetts in the US where, in October 2010, he filed for bankruptcy. He wanted to write off personal debts worth €10.5 million (£8.2 million).

It was the start of what was to become a five-year battle in the courts in Boston. During the proceedings, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation - formerly Anglo Irish Bank - fought Mr Drumm's bid.

It claimed he had knowingly and fraudulently put assets beyond the reach of his creditors, mostly by transferring them to his wife.

The bid failed in January 2015, when a Boston court ruled the ex-banker was "not remotely credible" and that he could be held liable for his debts but Mr Drumm appealed the decision twice.

It was December 2015 before the bankruptcy matter was finally resolved: Mr Drumm lost and the courts upheld the original decision.

In the midst of it he had been arrested in October 2015 following an extradition request from Irish authorities and held in custody in New England.

The decision paved the way for Mr Drumm's forced return to Ireland to face questions about his role in the now defunct bank's boom to bust saga.

In March 2016, he was extradited from the US and charged with conspiracy to defraud and false accounting relating to €7.2 billion (£5.6 billion) in deposits placed in Anglo accounts by the then Irish Life and Permanent financial institution between March and September 2008.

Mr Drumm spent his first night back in Dublin in a cell. But the following day the ex-banker walked free from custody after securing bail when his wife's parents stumped up €100,000 (£78,300).

He blew a kiss to his family in court when his release was granted. Since then his strict bail conditions have included the forfeiture of his passport and having to sign on at a police station twice a day.

His long-awaited trial got under way in January.

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