One day left for lenders to contest loan valuations
THE National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has told Bank of Ireland, EBS and Irish Nationwide that they have until tomorrow to object to the valuations placed on the first tranche of loans presented to the banks a few days ago.
The agency decided to reduce the time available to the lenders to protest against the valuations from 28 days to less than a week to ensure that the 100 loans from the country's top developers begin transferring on schedule, sources say.
The three banks began to receive information from NAMA late last week about what loans will be moved. The information includes which loans will be transferred, how much will be paid and how these loans will be valued. While the banks have until tomorrow to object to the figures, they will be able to appeal decisions at the end of the process, which is expected to last about a year.
NAMA told Bank of Ireland the initial batch of loans would be written down by between 35pc and 40pc, the 'Sunday Business Post' reported yesterday, citing government officials. The figure is being closely watched because it will determine how much the bank will need to raise by other means.
Both Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank are expected to unveil their latest set of results next week after Finance Minister Brian Lenihan makes a speech on the future of the banking sector, which was due this week but may be delayed until next week.
Labour finance spokeswoman Joan Burton said at the party's economic forum at the weekend that there was "a huge" information deficiency which prevented real debate about NAMA and bank bailouts.
"In the US, regardless of party, you have a flow of information which is bipartisan. For instance, there is a professor at Harvard who every few months, every few weeks if necessary, gives out information about their rescue structure. She googles, she twitters, it is up there on the net and you can look in to it," Ms Burton said.
"We don't have that in this country and it is a huge problem both for the opposition and independent commentators."
Ms Burton said the public was relying on a continuous softening up process in relation to Anglo Irish Bank.
"I said to one person from Anglo, 'How bad is bad?' and they said, 'Terrible'. I said, 'How terrible is terrible?' and they said, 'Horrendous'. So the figures are turning in your head. It is an incredible softening up process that brings us continuously to the point of saying, 'Maybe there is no other way'."