It is too early to draw conclusions on the success or otherwise of NAMA and its performance needs to be assessed over a longer period of time, according to Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath.
Deputy McGrath stated, “While I welcome the fact that NAMA is reporting an after tax profit for 2011 of €247 million, this measure doesn’t really tell us whole lot. NAMA is a vast agency and its financial success in managing a loan book with a value of €74 billion can only really be gauged towards the latter part of the agency’s 10 year life span.
“Since its formal inception in December 2009, I believe that NAMA has made progress towards the achievement of the objectives that have been set for it and I continue to wish the agency well in their work. The entire country has a vested interest in NAMA succeeding in the enormous challenge it faces. The truth is that NAMA will perform best on the back of an economic recovery in Ireland, but I also believe that its actions can help to bring about that recovery.
“NAMA has to date completed asset sales of €5 billion. However, 81% of the proceeds of completed sales to the end of December 2011 related to the sale of assets in Britain (despite the fact that only 34% of properties securing NAMA loans are in Britain). There is a concern that the agency’s sales activity to date has focussed on many of the prized assets in London, for example, with limited sales being achieved in Ireland.
“I welcome NAMA’s ongoing work to secure the reversal of assets transfers which were designed to put assets beyond the reach of the agency. NAMA has to date secured the reversal of asset transfers involving 31 debtors with assets worth €160 million. It is essential that NAMA continues this work and holds debtors to account for their responsibilities. I also welcome the fact that NAMA has approved rent reductions in 145 cases in respect of tenants of NAMA debtors.
“NAMA is expected to be in operation through to 2020. It is still early days in the agency’s life. It has a great deal of work to do to recoup the maximum possible amount for taxpayer’s arising from the banking and property debacle. It needs to pursue its objectives without fear or favour and will earn public support in doing so.”