Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD, responding today to the Section 227 review of NAMA, said it was the party’s view that NAMA should be aiming to make a profit, not just break even and repay its debt.
Deputy Doherty said:
“I have been monitoring the approach of this Government to NAMA with concern. The Government’s main goal with NAMA is to wind it up as soon as possible, which is irrational when some property prices have further to go in recovery, particularly outside Dublin.
“Earlier this year, NAMA completed the sale of its entire Northern loan book for €400 million less than it paid for it. Considering the loan book was generating an annual income and directly supported 2,000 jobs in the North, it defies logic that this loan book would be sold off so quickly and at a reduction.
“NAMA does not have to officially wind up until 2020, but the Government wants the majority of its business to be completed by 2016. I am concerned that this kind of haste will cause mistakes.
“I’ve already received a number of contacts expressing concern with the valuation of certain NAMA disposals. In addition, there is no adequate cooling off period for senior NAMA staff in place and we have already had a situation where one senior member left this year and very soon after took up employment with a private property investment firm.
“It’s not enough for NAMA to break even. Every cent the banks discounted on loans transferred to NAMA was met with recapitalisation by the Irish people.
“Given the Government has failed spectacularly to achieve retrospective recapitalisation from Europe, to date, we need NAMA to return a sizeable profit on its loans for the Irish public to see any real benefit.”