Former Anglo Irish Bank chief apologises for taped comments.

David Drumm 'shocked and embarrassed' by content of recorded phone conversations leaked to Irish newspaper.

Monday 1 July 2013 08.58 BST

David Drumm

In the recordings, David Drumm can be heard laughing while a fellow bank executive sings Deutschland Über Alles.

The former boss of the defunct Anglo Irish Bank has apologised for comments made by senior executives in 2008 mocking the institution's mounting losses and its need for a multibillion euro bailout.

David Drumm , who was chief executive at the time the comments were recorded, said he was "shocked and embarrassed" by the content of the telephone conversations which were leaked to an Irish newspaper last week.

There was "no excuse for the terrible language or the frivolous tone," he said. "I sincerely regret the offence it has caused. I cannot change this now but I can apologise to those who had to listen to it and who were understandably so offended by it."

The tapes were made in 2008, when the Irish government was in talks to bail out a number of the country's troubled banks.

German money flowed to Irish banks after the government issued a blanket guarantee for deposits.

In the recordings, Drumm can be heard laughing while a fellow Anglo Irish executive sings the German national anthem.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, reacted with anger to the tapes and expressed her contempt for the disgraced bankers.

"This is simply very hard to swallow for people who go to work normally every day, who earn their money. It really damages democracy, the social market economy and everything that we are working for," she said.

Drumm's colleague John Bowe was recorded saying he picked the figure of €7bn (£6bn) "out of my arse " when authorities asked him how much would be needed to rescue the bank.

"Listening to a recording made almost five years ago at a highly stressful and volatile uncertain time is both embarrassing and a shocking reminder of how much pressure my colleagues and I were under at that time," Drumm said over the weekend.

The failed bank was nationalised in 2009 and a year later the Irish government needed a €30bn bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

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