Nama must be held to account
The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy into disturbing events related to the activities of the National Asset Management Agency in Northern Ireland has raised serious questions which the State's so-called 'bad bank' must now address in full before the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee. Nama has robustly defended itself and has rejected many of the findings in the C&AG's report, which in itself has presented the vista of two State bodies in direct conflict in relation to these most serious events.
As such, when Nama comes before the PAC it must present a clear and coherent account of the actions it did take and sound justification for the actions it did not take in relation to the sale of the Project Eagle portfolio of properties in Northern Ireland. Nothing less will do.
Project Eagle is the name given to Nama's Northern Ireland property loans portfolio, which it sold in April 2014 to Cerberus, a US company, for about €1.6bn. Questions arose when it emerged that a managing partner of a firm of Belfast solicitors, which had worked for Cerberus, transferred £6m in fees from the deal to an Isle of Man bank account, without his firm's knowledge. He resigned when it was discovered.