Saturday 25 March 2017

Nama's anger at 'overcharging' by debt-laden banks

Ronald Quinlan and Daniel McConnell

Relations hit new low after revelations about administrative fees

RELATIONS between Nama and the country's banks have hit a new low, with senior officials at the agency suspecting they are being "grossly overcharged" for administrative work by the institutions whose property loans they have taken over.

Highly placed sources at Nama, which has to date taken over €71.2bn in loans from the banks, have told the Sunday Independent of their "deep" dissatisfaction with the amounts that the banks have been billing Nama since the agency's formal establishment 14 months ago.

So far, the five banks -- Anglo Irish, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Irish Nationwide and EBS -- have received a total of €75m between them for clerical work carried out by their respective Nama units.

News of the scepticism of Nama officials in relation to the banks comes less than four months on from the controversial statement made by its chief executive Brendan McDonagh at the Dail's Finance Committee, in which he said he thought there were "questions to be answered by the banks" in relation to the information they had given on the state of their loan books to Nama.

Mr McDonagh's claims caused a furore and very nearly led to investigations by gardai and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

INSIDE THE SECRET SOCIETY OF NAMA PAGES 26 & 27

Only last Thursday, the Department of Finance published their findings from an investigation into Bank of Ireland that confirmed that the lender had broken the rules of the State Deposit Guarantee Scheme by paying out a massive €66m in bonuses to employees in the period between September 2008 and December 2010.

Today's investigation by the Sunday Independent has also established from highly placed sources at Nama that the agency is paying several of the country's biggest developers basic salaries of €200,000 to manage their hugely indebted property portfolios that were amassed during the boom.

Sunday Independent

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