Business Irish

Sunday 22 October 2017

NAMA to reveal more about actual losses on toxic loans

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

A Dublin businessman has succeeded in his campaign to make NAMA's finances more transparent, after almost two years of lobbying.



Blackrock, Co Dublin-based Brian Flanagan wants toxic debt agency NAMA to include greater transparency about the original size of NAMA loans, and the extent of losses on those debts when it publishes financial accounts.

And after a long-running campaign he looks set to get his way.

Mr Flanagan wrote to NAMA, the Finance Minister, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General in his campaign for greater transparency about the debts.

In December the PAC took up the case, and it asked NAMA and the Department of Finance to look in detail at Mr Flanagan's proposals.

Now the head of NAMA, Brendan McDonagh, has agreed to consider the plan.

Mr McDonagh has written to the PAC saying he is working with the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General to come up with a scheme to show the additional financial details.

Surprised

The new reporting provision is expected to be in place in time for the publication of NAMA's 2011 financial report in July.

Brian Flanagan last night said he was "pleased and surprised" at the success of his campaign.

There is no suggestion that NAMA will change the way it calculates its actual profit and loss.

NAMA's official accounts will continue to be based on the difference between what it paid banks for the €71bn of property loans it holds, and how much it can raise by selling the assets.

Mr Flanagan's campaign was to convince NAMA to provide additional details in the form of so called "shadow accounts".

These would show the original size of the loans plus interest owed on the loans and compare that bigger figure to what NAMA is able to recover.

Mr Flanagan, a management consultant, told the Irish Independent he had pursued the issue as a "citizen and as a taxpayer".

He said it would allow everyone to see the true scale of property loan losses, not just the extent of NAMA's recovery on the debts.

He said he would also like to see NAMA publish details about individual borrowers and developments, even if that was only after loans had been repaid or written off.

"Other state agencies can publish details about individual grants so it seems to me that NAMA should be able to make at least after-the-event disclosure of commercial dealings," he said.

NAMA's financial accounts do not provide any details about individual borrowers or of development projects. There is no plan to change that and NAMA has long argued that any such detail would breach confidentiality rules.

Irish Independent

Also in Business