Business Irish

Saturday 17 March 2018

Developers to be pursued 'even after NAMA is gone'

Chairman says first goal is to recover costs, then repayments

Frank Daly, chairman of NAMA speaking to the media at the event
Frank Daly, chairman of NAMA speaking to the media at the event

Laura Noonan

THE chairman of the National Assets Management Agency (Nama) has vowed to hold developers accountable for un-paid debts long after the state-run agency is wound up.

Nama is due to pull down the shutters by 2020 at the latest, but chairman Frank Daly yesterday outlined plans to ensure any borrower who owed money at the end of that time-frame would continue to be pursued by the State.

"[The] Revenue [Commissioner] reserves the right to recover arrears at any stage if it emerges the taxpayer recovers the capacity to repay his or her debts -- it will be the same with Nama," Mr Daly said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Certified Public Accountant's annual conference, Mr Daly also confirmed the discount applied to the second tranche of Nama-bound loans was unlikely to "change enormously" from the 50pc applied to tranche one.

The one-time Revenue boss said the specifics of Nama's long-term debt pursuit had yet to be worked out, adding that one possibility was an "attachment order" which would legally compel repayment if an individual came into money.

These orders have been used by Revenue to pursue a number of defaulting taxpayers, including one individual who "was fortunate enough to win the Lotto and unfortunate enough to publicise the fact," Mr Daly said.

He went on to reject suggestions that Nama was planning to bail out developers.

"Our first responsibility is to recover the costs [of running Nama], and then to make sure the full loan is repaid," he said.

"I'm saying that quite strongly and I hope it resolves any doubts in anyone's mind."

Mr Daly also revealed some early insights into the discounts to be applied to the €13bn in loans due to be transferred to Nama over the coming weeks.

"The discount on the first tranche was 50pc . . . I won't imagine that will change enormously, but I am caveating that until we get the full loans across we won't get the exact figure," he said.


The comments imply a 55pc discount on the €7.3bn worth of Anglo loans in tranche two, a 42pc discount on the €2.8bn of AIB loans and a 36pc discount on the smaller amount being transferred from Bank of Ireland.

"The market wouldn't be hugely surprised by those numbers," Dolmen banking analyst Oliver Gilvarry said last night, adding that the Financial Regulator's recent "stress test" of the banks' business plans would have factored in similar figures.

Goodbody analyst Ken Darmody, meanwhile, said the news was "certainly not negative".

"A long time ago people thought the first tranche of discounts would be the worst, but that changed when Bank of Ireland tested half their loans and found the 35pc held," he added.

Shares in AIB closed down 3c at 96c, but Mr Darmody said this was related to a fall across European banks rather than the Nama news. Bank of Ireland closed up 4c at 76c on news that it was on track to secure 90pc support for its €1.7bn rights issue.

Irish Independent

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