David Cullinane TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform, said today that Sinn Féin will not allow the government and Fianna Fail to row back on their commitment to an inquiry into NAMA.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“It is incredible that the Minister for finance can stand up in the Dail and say that everything is ok with NAMA. This flies in the face of the minister’s own acknowledgement in front of the Public Accounts that Committee that there was a corrupted process in relation to the sale of Project Eagle.
“The C&AG Report into Project Eagle is a shocking exposé of the type of lax oversights and informal relationships that appear to inform NAMA’s engagement with its mandate.
“The question raised by the Report – one that the C&AG is not mandated to address – is a simple one: ‘if a corrupted process such as Project Eagle was allowed to proceed, where else has NAMA been soft on conflicts of interests in order to complete a sale?’
“It is somewhat shocking, but unfortunately not surprising, that Fianna Fail are running scared of an inquiry into NAMA as it was set up under their watch.
“However, the questions surrounding NAMA won’t go away. That is why it needs to be investigated especially in the face of such steadfast reluctance from the establishment parties.”
Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said figures released to him show that 68% of debtors who have exited NAMA did so having paid off less than half their debts.
Deputy Doherty said: “New figures I have received from the Minister for Finance show that nearly 70% of the 505 debtors who have exited NAMA have done so having had more than half their debt still owed. These debtors originally owed €27.3bn although NAMA would not have paid significantly less than that price. Of that debt only €14.9bn has been recovered.
“NAMA’s mandate is to recoup as much money as possible from its debtors for the Irish people. Shockingly 51 debtors exited having paid 10% or less of their debts while 225 debtors paid off less than 30%.
“That is a far cry from the Brian Lenihan commitment that debtors would pursued ‘to the ends of the Earth’. The NAMA strategy, under direction from the Minister, to offload assets earlier than originally planned means that, in many cases, it has been the vulture funds that have benefitted from repayments from these debtors in a recovering property market.
“That strategy is now in question more than ever before. Sinn Féin is calling for a freezing of NAMA sales until a new policy is developed which will make sure the taxpayer receives the maximum value from what is left on NAMA’s book and which mandates NAMA to play a serious role in solving our housing problem.”
Note: Please see the PQ in question below
QUESTION NO: 111
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)
by Deputy Pearse Doherty for WRITTEN ANSWER on 25/01/2017
“To ask the Minister for Finance the number of persons and corporate entities debtors whose total repaid debts upon exiting NAMA were at certain loan book values (details supplied) with regard to NAMA debtors that have exited the agency up to January 2017, having repaid their debts to NAMA, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.”
I am interpreting the Deputy’s question as requesting the number of NAMA debtors who have exited the agency organised by reference to the amount repaid at the time of exit from NAMA as a percentage of the total par debt owed to NAMA. In this regard, I am interpreting your reference to “total original loan book value” in the details supplied to the question as the total par debt owed to NAMA at the time NAMA acquired the loan.
I am also interpreting “exit from NAMA” to include both the establishment of a final agreement with NAMA or the sale of the loan. The percentages provided reflect the amounts which had been repaid to NAMA as a percentage of the original amount owed to NAMA and are calculated at the time a final agreement was reached with NAMA or at the time loans may have been sold by NAMA (i.e. loan sale proceeds are not loan repayments.)
The Deputy will be aware that NAMA originally paid €31.8 billion to acquire a loan book with a par value – that is an outstanding borrowed amount – of €74 billion, comprising 779 debtor connections. These loans had a market value of €26.2 billion, roughly 35% of par.
It was never envisaged that NAMA would recover anything close to the €74 billion par value of the loans. The average discount was 57%. However, the acquisition discounts varied significantly depending on the underlying quality of the assets.
I am advised that, as at 31 December 2016, 505 debtor connections with a par debt of €27.3 billion had exited NAMA. This comprises debtor connections who had reached a final agreement with NAMA and debtor connections whose loans had been sold. I am further advised that in 61 cases, debtors repaid 100% of the original par debt. In total, the 505 debtor connections have repaid €14.9 billion to the Agency, that is roughly 55% of the original par debt. A breakdown of debtor connections that had exited NAMA by end-December 2016 is presented in the table below.
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has welcomed the “belated U-turn by Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin on the scrapping of water charges and the need for a Commission of Investigation into NAMA’s sell-off of its northern loan book – Project Eagle.” Micheál Martin made these announcements on Morning Ireland today.
Gerry Adams said: “While Micheál Martin’s conversions to the scrapping of water charges and a Commission of investigation into NAMA’s Project Eagle are to be welcomed the fact is there have been months of delay in dealing with NAMA because Fianna Fáil blocked it.
“Teachta Martin’s assertion that new information has emerged in respect of Project Eagle is not credible. I understand he was briefed by Teachta Wallace. I spoke to the Fianna Fáil leader on a number of occasions and also wrote to him.
“It is obvious that this is a cynical political manoeuvre. It is in fact Fianna Fáil clearing the decks for any general election contest. It makes a mockery of any assertion of new politics.
“All of this is in keeping with Fianna Fáil’s repositioning on water charges; on bin charges; on the National Monument in Moore Street; on rent certainty; and their support for not taking the Apple billions.
“Of course all of this politicking should not distract from the core issue; there can be no doubt that shortcomings and irregularities have cost the taxpayers billions which could have been used to pay for essential public services.
“I repeat Sinn Féin’s demand for a Commission of Investigation into the sale of Project Eagle.”