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Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Job cuts at troubled Irish bank

Anglo Irish Bank branch
Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised in January

Anglo Irish Bank is to lay off 230 staff, mainly in the UK and Ireland.

The bank which was nationalised by the Irish government earlier this year has become a symbol for the decline of Ireland's "Celtic Tiger" economy.

More than 100 jobs will be lost in Ireland, 95 in the UK and 25 across the US and Europe.

Chief executive Mike Aynsley said radical cutbacks were needed to reduce costs and he warned of further job losses next year and in 2011.

The bank's UK offices are in Belfast, London, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.

Anglo reported the biggest loss in Irish corporate history this year when it made a loss of 4.1bn euros (£3.7m) in the six months to March on the back of large impairments on its property loans to developers.

Investigations

In December last year, the bank's chairman, Sean Fitzpatrick, resigned after admitting that he had concealed millions of euros in personal loans from the Dublin-based bank.

Mr Fitzpatrick hid the loans from shareholders by temporarily transferring them from Anglo to another bank before each year-end to avoid revealing them in the accounts.

It also emerged that the bank lent money to a so-called "golden circle" of businessmen who then invested the money in the bank in an apparent attempt to prop up its share price.

Several official investigations, including a fraud inquiry, are still under way.

The cuts begin on 9 November and are set to conclude next February, bringing the bank's workforce to around 1,300 people.

The redundancies form part of a total reduction of 470 staff since last September.

On Wednesday it was revealed in the Irish parliament that the country's finance ministry paid investment bank Merrill Lynch 7.4m euros (£6.6m) for a report which said Anglo was "fundamentally sound" days before it had to be nationalised.



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SEE ALSO
New chief for Anglo Irish bank
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Anglo Irish gets aid from Dublin
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24 Feb 09 |  Europe
Anglo Irish Bank faced going bust
16 Jan 09 |  Business
Irish bank set to be nationalised
16 Jan 09 |  Business


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