Sinn Féin TD and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Brian Stanley, has called for the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) to provide further explanations around the sale of assets at a 97.5% discount to a relative of a debtor.
The details of the transaction were contained in a report published by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG).
Teachta Stanley said:
“In 2014 we had Project Eagle, in 2020 we covered Project Nantes, and here we have a further incidence where substantial concerns are being raised around a financial transaction involving NAMA.
“The C&AG’s report concludes that NAMA sold loans to a debtor’s relative at a 97.5% discount, representing a loss of €6 million to the taxpayer.
“To put this into context, NAMA originally acquired the loans in 2010 at a discount of 49% on the par value of €10.5m. Collateral was made up of 14 occupied residential units, 28 unfinished residential units and seven plots of lands totalling 20.9 hectares.
“NAMA eventually sold the loans for €265,000 to a relative of the debtor at a discounted price of 97.5%.
“Without further explanations from the board, it is difficult to understand the logic behind this financial transaction.
“The C&AG’s report does state that a contributing factor behind in the disposal of the loans for such a significant discount was due to “potential litigation and intimidation/threats”.
“NAMA confirmed that it does not have a process for dealing with incidents of intimidation on the basis that it has arisen very rarely.
“Unfortunately, to date, the explanations behind this sale are unconvincing and NAMA’s answers only leave further questions.
“As chair of the PAC, I will be looking for NAMA to provide much more transparent and detailed answers to the committee.”