The National Asset Management Agency is structured in such a way that the debt it issues to purchase acquired loans is not treated as part of Ireland’s General Government Debt under European accounting rules. This affords the Agency similar accounting treatment to bank support schemes in other EU member states such as France and Germany.
In a decision issued in July 2009, Eurostat (the statistical office of the European Union) ruled that special purpose vehicles (SPVs) which were majority owned by private companies would be regarded as being outside of the government sector if they met a number of conditions. Among the conditions were that the SPVs were of temporary duration and were established for the sole purpose of addressing the financial crisis.
In order to avail of this accounting treatment, NAMA established an investment holding company – National Asset Management Agency Investment Ltd – which is majority-owned by private investors. 51% of its shares are owned in equal proportion by three private companies (Walbrook Capital, New Ireland Assurance Co. plc and Percy Nominees Ltd., a nominee of Prescient Investment Managers) and the remaining 49% are owned by NAMA. Under the shareholders’ agreement between NAMA and the private investors, NAMA exercises a veto over decisions taken by the company. Eurostat gave its approval to this structure in October 2009.
In order to carry out its functions, NAMA has formed a number of other group entities. The various NAMA group entities and their functions are set out below.