Wednesday 18 January 2017

Daly pours cold water on 'people's NAMA'

Published 05/06/2010 | 05:00

The chairman of the National Asset Management Agency Frank Daly has ruled out a "NAMA for the People". It has been widely called for as tens of thousands of homeowners struggle with negative equity and face difficulty paying mortgages after losing their jobs.

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Stressing that it was his "personal view" rather than an official Nama view, Mr Daly said he felt a broader scheme would be a "very difficult burden for the country to take on".

"One must take account of the moral hazard; one must take account of the potential cost to the country, and one must take account of the hundreds of thousands of people who did not over extend themselves," he said.

Mr Daly said Ireland's auditors need to carry out a "serious review" of their roles and responsibilities in light of Ireland's recent boom to bust.

Addressing the Certified Public Accountants (CPA)'s annual conference, Mr Daly said he would "question whether it is sufficient" for auditors to say their function didn't extend to commenting on "business strategies or ethical behaviour of their clients".

"We cannot go back to a situation whereby an audit firm can complete an audit and then claim that it did not spot the elephant in the room, or that it was not its job to point out that four-legged hulk with the trunk lurking in the corner," he added.

Mr Daly said he had been trying to convey to the accountants his "very strong personal opinion" on the auditing profession's role in Ireland's boom to bust.

Extraordinary

"It seems extraordinary to me that the huge concentration of risk and lending that must have been apparent in the accounts of a lot of companies was not commented on by the auditors," he added.

Responding to the comments, CPA president Geoff Meagher told the Irish Independent that the institute's council would "consider" Mr Daly's views "in due course".

He stressed, however, that its auditors were bound by international rules, such as the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

"It would not be appropriate for any individual institute to devise its own set of rules or regulations," he said, adding that there was "ongoing dialogue" internationally.

Irish Independent

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