Monday 11 November 2019

Certus and Pepper get green light to handle €24bn of NAMA loans

Colm Kelpie

THE National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has selected Certus and a consortium of Pepper and Serco to manage up to €24bn of loans that could be transferred to the agency from the liquidated former Anglo Irish Bank.

Dublin-based Certus has been selected to handle day-to-day management of up to €22bn of commercial property loans, investment, development and business loans.

The current market value of the loans is likely to be a fraction of the so-called 'face value' or amount owed.

The company is already managing the loan books of the former Bank of Scotland (Ireland) but said it would take on 300 staff to deal with the extra workload, including a high proportion of those laid off from IBRC when the bank was liquidated.

The consortium of global financial services business Pepper Asset Servicing and Serco will take on any personal debt and about 28,000 mortgage loans, with an expected value of about €1.8bn – if those debts end up in NAMA.

Pepper indicated it would also take on IBRC staff.

Special liquidators were appointed to quickly shut down the former Anglo Irish Bank in February. They were told to sell what they could on the open market and hand the balance over to NAMA at the end of this year.

State agency NAMA said yesterday that if loans were transferred across they would be managed by Certus and Pepper.

Certus chief executive Joe Higgins said the deal would mean a boost for its workforce.

"This is a significant portfolio and will result in another 300 new jobs being created in Certus over the next 12 months and means that we will have added 600 jobs in just three years," Mr Higgins said.

Certus has about 1,100 employees, rising to 1,400 under the NAMA deal.

Pepper and Serco said the contract was expected to begin early next year, and would result in the expansion in Ireland of both companies in Dublin and Shannon, as well as protecting the jobs of the IBRC workforce currently servicing this portfolio.

Pepper chief Paul Doddrell said the appointment was an acknowledgement of the company's expertise and experience in servicing third-party portfolios.

"It is also another important milestone in the growth of Pepper's Irish platform, and our stated desire to create new, sustainable job opportunities in both Shannon and Dublin where our operations are principally based," he said.

Jerry Benson, managing director for Serco's Private Sector BPO business in Europe, said it was a significant step for the company.

"Working in partnership with Pepper, we will be providing transformative BPO solutions for our clients in an exciting new market for Serco," Mr Benson said.

Irish Independent

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