Monday 20 November 2017

Top banker takes aim at NAMA and weaker lenders

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) should be abandoned and two of the banks taking part should be wound up, a top banking expert claimed yesterday.

Peter Mathews told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance and Public Service that the NAMA scheme was ill-advised and ought to be reversed, with the Government instead recapitalising AIB, Bank of Ireland and EBS.

He added that Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide could be successfully shut down.

He estimated that a recapitalisation scheme would cost about €17.5bn and it would take about five years to wind up Anglo.

"Anglo's loan book was some €72bn. About half of that book has gone to NAMA and of the remaining €36bn, about €24bn worth are underperforming. At most, 50pc of the loan book will be recovered," he said.

"AIB can be recapitalised with €10bn, Bank of Ireland with €6.5bn and EBS with €1bn. When the Americans instigated TARP in 2008, they looked at creating a NAMA-style bad bank and realised very quickly that it would not work," he added.

The Department of Finance declined to comment on the claims.

In a sometimes ill-tempered session, Mr Mathews insisted that the ECB did not need to have a direct role in the NAMA scheme despite criticism from Fianna Fail TD Frank Fahey, who added that the ECB, the IMF and the OECD had all agreed that NAMA was necessary.

Irish Independent

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