Tuesday 12 December 2017

State Street boss calls for NAMA transparency

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

STATE Street boss Willie Slattery has called on the Government to publish extensive details of individual developers' dealings with the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

The call was made in a previously unreported speech to the MacGill Summer School and comes almost four months after Mr Slattery denounced Nama as "crazy" in a radio interview.

"There must be complete transparency about who benefits. . . and how individual loans are compromised," Mr Slattery told the MacGill forum in late July.

Public register

"A public register of all loans and related security should be established and properties held as security on defaulted loans should be disposed of by public and transparent means to optimise recovery for the taxpayer."

Late last year, Fine Gael called for the naming and shaming of developers when the Nama legislation was being developed.

At the time, Junior Minister Peter Power said the taxpayer would be exposed to an "avalanche of legal action" if it published the details.

Some argue, however, that the Government could change the law to make details that are usually confidential published in the Nama context only.

The Department of Finance yesterday confirmed that the Attorney General's advice was being sought in relation to the publication issue.

"The department supports Nama's position on not releasing this information and the argument of commercial sensitivity is valid," a spokesperson said.

Review

"While the department continues to keep the operation of Nama under review there are no plans for a change in our approach to this issue."

She added that Nama was obliged to publish quarterly lists of all legal proceedings -- and also publish a schedule of income for its transactions.

"It is felt that the provision of this information on an aggregate basis is the appropriate approach," she said.

Mr Slattery heads a team of 2,500 at State Street's Irish offices and has been one of the business world's most outspoken critics of Nama.

As well as lacking transparency, Mr Slattery also believes the State's bad bank is paralysing the property market.

Irish Independent

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