NAMA Statement on Public Accounts Committee Project Eagle Report

PRESS STATEMENT – 14 March 2017

 

“It was the Board’s commercial and considered judgement, in full knowledge of the financial implications, that the sale of the Project Eagle loan portfolio provided a better financial outcome than any alternative monetisation strategy. That was the Board’s view in 2014 and it remains the Board’s view today”. (NAMA Spokesperson)

 

NAMA notes today’s publication of the report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) setting out the findings of its review of the C&AG’s report on the Project Eagle loan sale transaction.

 

·         NAMA has co-operated fully with the Committee since it began its review in September 2016. This has included attendance on eight separate occasions at Committee meetings during which current and former Board members and NAMA executives responded to over 2,000 questions in relation to Project Eagle. In addition, NAMA has received some 229 written questions from the Committee and has provided over 1,500 pages of material in response. NAMA is satisfied that all relevant information held by it has been provided to the C&AG and to the PAC.

 

·         NAMA disputes the suggestion that an alternative monetisation strategy would have delivered a better financial outcome. NAMA also disputes the suggestion that an additional estimated £190m (£162m on sale conclusion) could have been realised from an alternative sales process. No independent, third-party market-based analysis has been sought by, or provided to, the Committee to support either of these contentions.

 

·         The losses arising from the Eagle portfolio since acquisition, which were fully recognised in NAMA’s accounts, would have arisen irrespective of whether the portfolio was sold in 2014 or retained. Deferring the sale would not have produced a better financial outcome – the commercial reality is that the Northern Ireland property market and many regional markets in northern Britain, where many of the portfolio’s underlying assets are located, have been challenging and are likely to remain challenging for the foreseeable future.

 

·         The Committee acknowledges in its report that there is an obligation on NAMA to act expeditiously in relation to the disposal of assets and that reduction of the associated debt is in the national financial interest. In this respect, NAMA is required by law to adopt a commercial approach to its acquired loans and to the assets securing them. It took full advantage of an unexpected commercial opportunity that emerged during the second half of 2013 to sell the Northern Ireland debtor loans as one portfolio. It was the Board’s commercial and considered judgement, in full knowledge of the financial implications, that this sale provided a better financial outcome than any alternative monetisation strategy. That was the Board’s view in 2014 and it remains the Board’s view today.

 

ENDS