Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath has called for a detailed examination by the Dáil of the decision to liquidate IBRC and the outcome of the sale process.
Deputy McGrath was speaking following the publication of a progress report which highlighted that 90% of the loans held by IBRC have been sold to date.
The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson commented, “This was one of the most significant financial decisions in the history of the State. We are about to embark on a major inquiry into the banking collapse that will give considerable attention to the 2008 Bank Guarantee. However the decision to liquidate IBRC and the replacement of the promissory notes with long term government bonds will continue to have a significant impact in the financial position of the state for a considerable time to come.
“At the time, Fianna Fáil supported the liquidation of IBRC based on the information we were given showing that if the State did not proceed, it could potentially be exposed to significant loss. However this support was not unconditional and it was based on the need to make all relevant information available as soon as possible.
“Therefore, I believe it would be appropriate for the banking inquiry to look in detail at the circumstances of the liquidation announcement how it was executed. As a member of the committee, I will be pressing for this to be included in the terms of reference of the inquiry. This issue is far too important to deal with in a single session of the Oireachtas Finance Committee.
“The liquidators are certainly to be commended for achieving a 90% success rate to date in selling the IBRC assets, however the Dáil should be able to ask legitimate questions regarding the value achieved for the taxpayer both in terms of the sale price and the costs incurred in the process. In particular the payment of €111m in various consultancy fees is an enormous sum of money. It is just €2m short of the target the Government set for savings from cutting the number of medical cards. Many of the parties involved were contracted without an open tender process. It is imperative that the Dáil be allowed to fully examine how these fees were arrived at and if the best interests of the taxpayer was protected.
“The publication of the progress report on Friday brings some much needed transparency to a process that has been shrouded in secrecy until now. The next stage should be a careful examination of how events unfolded and whether any lessons can be learned. As the State still has a huge exposure to commercial property loans through NAMA, it is vital that we take on board any information that has come to light during the IBRC liquidation that could assist in maximising the return from NAMA and the sale of the remaining IBRC assets. There is also the outstanding issue of the unsold mortgages from the former Irish Nationwide which I would be keen for the liquidators to address.”