Business Irish

Saturday 30 August 2014

Developers will have to sell off their 'jets, yachts and Bentleys'

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

Published 19/11/2010 | 05:00

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NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh (left) and chairman Frank Daly (right) arrive at Leinster House yesterday for a meeting of the Dail Public Accounts Committee

DEVELOPERS have been warned that they will be forced to sell off their "jets, yachts and Bentleys" by NAMA to pay their debts.

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It also emerged that the majority of the most indebted developers tried to transfer houses and other assets to family members or other third parties to put them beyond NAMA's reach.

But National Asset Management Agency chairman Frank Daly said the agency would vigorously pursue all available assets owned by developers and had already managed to claw back €50m worth of assets which one developer had transferred to other people.

"The jets, yachts, the Bentleys or whatever... they will not be supported by NAMA. They will be sold," he said.

He revealed that one developer had asked for a salary of €1.5m in his business plan to NAMA -- which "didn't get beyond first base".

But Fianna Fail TD Sean Fleming said he believed that developers being propped up by the taxpayer should be paid the same rate as those on social welfare.

"We can't have two systems -- one for people on social welfare and another for people on NAMA social welfare," he said.

Mr Daly refused to reveal the names of any of the developers whose loans it has bought from the banks, saying it was commercially sensitive. He said afterwards he could not be asked to play poker and show his hand at the same time.

Labour TD Roisin Shortall said the public was extremely sceptical about the prospect of developers in the "golden circle" being allowed to continue their luxurious lifestyles.

Mr Daly said there would be absolutely no tolerance in NAMA "for any golden circle".

The Dail's Public Accounts committee heard that many of the developers had an "almost sentimental attachment" to their properties.

NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh said they still had expenses at "unsustainable levels" and wanted to build on green field sites they owned.

"Some of the borrowers aren't realistic, I'll be frank with you. It's our job to impose that realism," he said.

Irish Independent

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