Thursday 23 January 2020

NAMA finds 'grave irregularities' in some Anglo loans it took over

Developer Kevin McNulty
Developer Kevin McNulty

The National Asset Management Agency has alleged it discovered "grave irregularities" in relation to a number of Anglo Irish Bank loans transferred to the agency.

What appear to have been a number of blunders by Anglo in maintaining its legal claims over property assets emerged at the Commercial Court in Dublin yesterday. NAMA is in court looking to recover €86.5m owed by developer Kevin McNulty.

The debt is linked to various loans made by the former Anglo Irish Bank, the Commercial Court heard.

NAMA said it discovered the "grave irregularities" in the security provided for some of the loans during due diligence undertaken when it took the loans from Anglo.

In evidence, NAMA said mortgages that Anglo held, giving it security over a number of Mr McNulty's properties in Clondalkin in Dublin, were cancelled in error in 2008.

A charge over a property in Abbeyleix was also cancelled in 2009, without Anglo's knowledge or approval, NAMA said.

In an affidavit, Patrick Coen, NAMA portfolio manager, said that under the terms of a 2009 loan Mr McNulty had confirmed that Anglo had a "first legal mortgage" over various units, yards and two mobile phone masts at Clondalkin Business Centre and over a development site at Abbeyleix, Co Laois, to include 21 completed units.

NAMA later found out that the Clondalkin assets were all released to Mr McNulty about January 2008, Mr Coen said.

He said that all but one of the releases had been done "in error".

Ownership of two of the units was later transferred to Mr McNulty's wife, Mr Coen said.

Mr Coen said Mr McNulty had given the bank "no adequate answer" as to why those transfers had been made.

NAMA brought the action against Mr McNulty, Red Bog, Blessington, Co Wicklow, and two of his companies -- Ashburton Construction Ltd and PA Bello Ltd, both with registered offices at Clondalkin, Dublin.

The low-profile developer was involved in a number of housing and commercial developments during the boom -- including the €150m Boyne Bridge Business Park, just off the M1 motorway in Drogheda. The case is also against Conal P Byrne, Castlepark, Mill Road, Leixlip, Co Kildare, who is being pursued for €4.1m arising from a personal guarantee allegedly provided by him in 1998 concerning liabilities of Ashburton.

The proceedings were adjourned for three weeks yesterday by Mr Justice Peter Kelly after various issues were raised by the defendants.

Mr Byrne, representing himself, said he wanted time to get advice and had received some papers just last Friday.

The court heard NAMA informed Mr McNulty in February 2011 it had acquired his liabilities from Anglo but that the bank would continue to administer those.

Irish Independent

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