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Vulture profits show NAMA's Project Eagle fire-sale was the norm, not the exception - David Cullinane TD

26 March, 2017 - by David Cullinane TD

Daivd Cullinane, Sinn Fein member of the Public Accounts Committee, said today he is shocked but not surprised at the news that NAMA's property loan fire-sales to vulture funds may have cost the State up to €18 billion.

Daputy Cullinane said:

"We know from the PAC's investigation of the Project Eagle sale that in 2012 NAMA changed strategy and started bundling loans together in fire-sales to vulture funds.

"It led, in part, to the seriously deficient sales process that surrounded the disposal of Project Eagle, NAMA's northern loan-book and a probable loss of €190 million.

"Today's report in the Sunday Business Post shows that the fire-sale strategy may have cost the Irish taxpayer an additional €18 billion in lost revenue.

"Eight years ago NAMA paid €31.8 billion for €74.4 billion in loans from five banks.

"This crystallized losses for the banks of €42.6 billion. Because of the bank guarantee, the State had to give them this amount through capital injections and promissory notes in order to keep them open.

"The bulk of that €42 billion is now lost for good. We will be paying back the loans to cover the amount for the next 36 years.

"In that context, the actions of NAMA and Minister Noonan to favour quick sales to vulture funds is inexcusable.

"At the moment, the State is struggling to borrow for investment in health, housing, education and infrastructure.

"The €18 billion in lost revenue from NAMA, alongside the €13 billion in lost revenue from Apple, leaves us with €31 billion that Fine Gael are happy to see walk out the door while the crisis in our hospitals continues.

"Today's report appears to show that the issues surrounding Project Eagle were not unique to it.

"The sooner we are able to get to the bottom of what really went on in NAMA over the past eight years the better."

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