Monday, June 24, 2013

24/6/2013: Anglo 2008 Annual Report is out. Call your broker, presto!

All going swimmingly... nothing to look at here... move on folks...
H/T to @KarlWhelan

Oh, yes, do fill your boots with them shares...

A pearl:
"Following the introduction of the Government guarantee on 30 September 2008 the Bank experienced growth in retail deposits and access to other funding markets gradually improved. However, the reputational damage to the Bank resulting from a number of recent disclosures together with  adverse ratings actions have significantly weakened the Bank’s competitive funding position at a time when global markets continue to deteriorate and overall sentiment is negative."

Thus, clearly, barring some bad publicity and bad-bad-bad-n-worse Ratings Agencies intransigence, the bank would have been just fine, thank you...

And as per future, a gem:
"We are determined as part of our long term strategy to rebuild trust and confidence. A key priority of the new Board is to ensure we regain our position in the corporate, wholesale and debt capital markets and over time enhance the quality of funding, building on our diversified international platforms. ...The Bank’s ambition is to expand its retail franchise by targeting new and existing markets with competitively priced transparent products."

The Happy Times, they are coming back...

Obviously, there is no one to blame, but bad PR and bad-bad-bad-n-worse Ratings Agencies:
"I continue to be impressed by the tremendously loyal and professional staff in all areas of the Bank who deserve great credit for their dedication and commitment. Like all stakeholders, staff members across the Group have been deeply impacted and disappointed by recent events. They share the Board’s determination to restore confidence and trust in the Bank. The Board has great faith in the ability and strength of our people and they will play a critical role in ensuring the future viability of the Bank."

In other words, neither the staff, nor the Board had any idea of these bad things that have happened... it is, therefore, 'carry on across all decks' moment... But just in case you don't get this tingling sensation of excitement for the future from above, here it is in full glory:
"...a comprehensive business plan is being developed which will ensure the Bank’s long term viability.

...We will look at evolving from our existing structure to a broader more diversified business bank. The Bank’s customer service ethos and ability to provide effective and efficient service will help us meet the needs of sole traders, SMEs and larger businesses.

The Board is resolute in its determination to ensure that the Bank emerges from its current situation as a strong and viable institution and one that stakeholders feel proud of."


NB: Judging by objectives set out above, the Board and the senior management of the bank have by now failed in achieving the goals set out by themselves for themselves back in 2008-2009. Anyone to be held responsible?.. other than bad PR and bad-bad-bad-n-worse Ratings Agencies?..

NB2: Karl's reaction - and I am in agreement with him on it:

1 comment:

Brian O' Hanlon said...

What I would like to hear more of in Ireland in 2013, are questions about what ought to be good, decent guidelines for behaviour in business and goals worthy of trying to achieve. I’ve spent a lot of time in business myself, and this certainly doesn’t seem clear out there, within Irish society (note, I emphasize Irish 'society', rather than the Irish 'economy). I sometimes ask people a simple question. In 2008, who were Anglo's executives working for exactly? Because if someone such as myself, who didn't go to business school, were to listen to a lot of the 'slots' on national and local media about Anglo Irish bank, one might walk away with an impression that the taxpayer owned Anglo Irish bank in September 2008.

But, my understanding is, that that was not the case. So who did own Anglo Irish bank in 2008, and who were the executives recorded in phone conversations actually work for? But the range of answers, that one gets to that simple question is astonishing. And part of it, I have realized is to do with how the national Irish media have dealt with, or tried to deal with the financial collapse, and create a narrative to explain events. Nowhere in that narrative, will one find any real genuine comment of who actually owned the bank.

If it was the case that executives in Anglo Irish bank simply 'worked for themselves' (as many people in Irish society will respond, when asked the simple question I mention), then is there anything we would like to alter in this model (of executives 'working for themselves')? My naive impression, based on my untutored observations of industries over the years, was that executive management worked on behalf of shareholders, and as I understood it, a lot of other stuff (like ethics, behaviours etc), flow out of that arrangement.

What is kind of scary, is that in Irish media, our culture of ‘victim-isation’, and suffering, ensures that we can’t even talk about people who are perceived to be 'winners', in the great game of life. We can't talk about shareholders, or any rights they ought to enjoy, or duties of executives to who their real legal owners are.This is at the root of an awful lot of it, and I can only speculate that further years of better education and so forth, will hopefully improve this attitude. That is, I hope that when I am an old man, the young business school kids, will leave school with a more fully formed understanding of their roles.

The ’safe’ issues that we always hear on conversations on national radio, is what implications does it have for taxpayers. We always go on a defensive strategy. There is little conversation in Ireland about how 'good' business can be. And it makes one wonder, that if business people are painted in such a dim light, in our national conversation, how do we ever hope to achieve improvements? This is all the more surprising for the fact that we have a lot of business schools in Ireland, and teach a lot of students in the subject. But for some unknown reason, there seems to be only superficial conversation about what ‘enterprise’ actually is, and could be. What form it could take, at it's very best in a place like Ireland.


We fill endless hours of broadcasting with things about ‘SME’s’, etc. We pay lip service, but don’t want offer any real safe guards for shareholder capital tied up in businesses at the same time. We still haven’t figured out what shareholder capital really is, in Ireland, and that is at the root of most of this. In that sense, we have not yet advanced to a modern advanced economy. The lack of recourse, or some form of justice that shareholders might expect to see in Ireland since 2008, I think will have led many (both foreign and domestic) investors to run a mile from these shores.