Anglo chief Mike Aynsley: radical restructuring

Staff at Anglo Irish Bank are about to finally discover how many job losses are coming at the nationalised lender, while one of its top executives has had look as far afield as Africa to find a new a position.

Terms and conditions for a redundancy programme at Anglo will be decided by management this week and communicated to staff by early next week at the latest, it is believed. The proposed job cuts – reported to number approximately 400, or roughly a quarter of staff – will form part of the business plan the bank must submit to the European Commission (EC) by the end of next month.

Meanwhile Andrew Curtin, formerly head of Anglo's credit investments division, has taken on the role of managing director of ANP International Finance (ANPI), the Irish subsidiary of Nigeria's Afribank.

Job losses have been anticipated at the bank since the board appointed consultants as part of a targeted cost management exercise last spring, but a final decision was held back pending the appointment of new chief executive Mike Aynsley and the composition of a new business plan. As Anglo will shed about 40% of its balance sheet when it transfers €27bn of property loans to Nama, far fewer staff will be need to run the bank.

It is understood the EC business plan will contain a range of options from a winding-up scenario to the bank continuing as a viable financial institution, probably to the SME sector. Such a radical restructuring would also require job losses, as Anglo's previous incarnation was as a high-risk a speculative property lender.

The plan is expected to go through several iterations with the Department of Finance, Anglo's sole shareholder, to make sure it meets the EC's rules for state aid.

Curtin spent eight years with Anglo's credit investments division, heading it up for the past four. The credit investments division oversaw Anglo's asset backed securities and structured credit products.

Curtin said he made the move to ANPI, which is is primarily involved in the processing of fund transactions, because Anglo's business had changed dramatically over the past year and he no longer saw a future there. The ANPI position was advertised last February and Curtain was hired in August.

Nigeria's banks have not been immune to the difficulties of the recession with Afribank among five banks in the west African country to have amassed bad loans totalling $2.6bn (€1.73bn).

APNI's parent bank's difficulties have had no bearing on their operations in Ireland, said Curtin.