Business Irish

Tuesday 21 January 2020

IBRC gets a stay of execution as liquidation drags on

Reprieve for staff as Noonan's plan for quick wind-down left in tatters

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

BANK staff facing the axe because of the liquidation of IBRC have been given a reprieve that will see many kept on much longer than expected to manage up to €16bn of state-owned loans.

The prospect of some staff keeping their jobs for an extra five months was raised after the Minister for Finance was forced to tear up the timetable for the liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Corp (IBRC), the former Anglo Irish Bank.

IBRC has around 800 staff who have been working on rolling short-term contracts since the bank went into liquidation in February.

When IBRC was put into liquidation in February, special liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG were charged with completing the valuation of around €16bn of former Anglo assets by June, and selling them or shifting them to NAMA by the end of July.

That timetable has now been scrapped as unrealistic. The liquidators are understood to be planning to contact individual staff over the coming days to tell them how they are affected by the changes.

Yesterday, the special liquidators said in a statement that the minister has now given them have until the end of November to complete the valuation of IBRC's loans, and have until the end of the year to sell off as much of the bank's assets as possible.

More time is need to maximise the liquidators' chances of recovering value from the bust bank, a spokesman said.

UBS and PwC have been hired to complete independent valuations on all assets that make up the remaining €12bn to €16bn of former Anglo assets.

Liquidators can only sell assets once those individual valuations have been done, because their instructions are to only sell where offers are received that are equal to or in excess of the valuation price.

However, the extension will be seen by many as confirmation that the IBRC liquidation plans were rushed when emergency legislation was pushed through the Oireachtas in a single night in February.

A statement setting out the new timetable also provided fresh clarity on the liquidation process.

Once the sale process gets under way in earnest, loans will be offered for sale either singly or bundled into portfolios.

VALUATIONS

Loans can be sold as soon as they have been independently valued, so it is not a case of waiting until the entire portfolio has been assessed before bidding gets under way.

Unlike the case at NAMA, individual borrowers whose loans are being sold can bid to "buy" them, including offering less than the amount owed, under the plan.

Any loans or other assets not sold will be transferred to the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). The agency will pay the liquidators the valuation price in so-called NAMA bonds – a form of IOU.

Sources close to the process say the extension has been given because the valuation process is more complicated than anticipated. As well as assessing the individual status of loans the valuation process includes applying a discount of 2.32pc of face value to all loans. It is to take into account security and title issues, the liquidators said in a statement.

Irish Independent

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