Tuesday 25 September 2018

Nama bad loans avoid new credit register

The Central Credit Register, overseen by the Central Bank, began collecting loan information from around 300 lenders in July last year. (Stock picture)
The Central Credit Register, overseen by the Central Bank, began collecting loan information from around 300 lenders in July last year. (Stock picture)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) has begun reporting details of its borrower loans to the Central Credit Register, after securing special permission to hand over its data significantly later than most lenders.

The new register is designed to create a comprehensive data set so that lenders can take account of any missed payments or defaults when they make credit assessments.

A blot on a borrower's record is likely to make it much harder to get a mortgage or other loan.

Nama began reporting its borrowers' credit details to the register on March 31 this year, after securing a derogation from the Central Bank, which operates the new official record of borrower and loan histories.

The delay may prove a boon to some debtors - if their loans were repaid or written off in the interim they will not now be captured on the Credit Register.

Historic Nama loans, that were on the agency's books before March 31 this year, will not be captured - even if a borrower defaulted on billions of euro.

In fact, the derogation means the State bad bank only began passing information to the register after it had already gone live - and was being used by banks to help determine lending decisions. "Nama will be reporting on all live loans as of 31 March 2018 and on all loans going forward, the same as all other lenders," a spokesman said.

The Central Credit Register, overseen by the Central Bank, began collecting loan information from around 300 lenders - including banks and credit unions - in July last year.

Lenders began using it to inform credit decisions on March 20, this year.

The Register includes details on mortgages, personal loans, overdrafts and credit cards.

It launched after years of delays, having originally been a key reform identified by the bailout Troika in 2010.

It was a response, after Troika officials had been shocked to discover the scale of debt built up by individual developers before the crash, in many cases across a number of lenders who were each unaware of the others' exposure.

Many of those developer loans ended up in Nama.

Ironically it is among the last institutions to begin regular reporting to the register.

A spokesman for Nama said the low number of borrowers on its books was a factor in the delay being allowed.

Other gaps identified in the Register include a lack of information in relation to bankruptcies.

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