The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) was formally established as a statutory body in December 2009 to help address the serious problems which arose in Ireland’s banking sector as the result of excessive property lending. NAMA was established as a separate statutory body with its own Board and CEO appointed by the Minister for Finance. It operates under the aegis of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) which provides it with staff and business support services. The Board of NAMA must carry out its functions independently but is closely guided by its obligations under the NAMA Act and is subject to a high level of public accountability.
NAMA’s CEO and the Chairman must attend and give evidence whenever required to do so by the Committee of Public Accounts or by other committees of the Oireachtas. In addition to publishing a detailed set of annual accounts, NAMA must also submit quarterly reports to the Minister on its activities, including information about its loans, its financing arrangements and its income and expenditure. These Reports are published on NAMA’s website once they have been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas. NAMA is subject to oversight from the Comptroller and Auditor General (“C&AG”). The C&AG has a team of staff located in NAMA’s offices with full access to information and has published 3 special reports on NAMA.
The Shareholding Management Unit is responsible for the management of the Minister’s interests in NAMA in relation to the oversight of NAMA as set out in the NAMA Act 2009.
The NAMA legislation enabled the asset management agency to acquire loans linked to land and development from Irish banks. The first phase of NAMA’s operation involved the acquisition and transfer from participating financial institutions of €74 billion in loan assets involving 850 debtors and more than 11,000 individual loans collateralised by 16,000 individual properties for which it paid €31.8bn by issuing Government Guaranteed Senior Debt securities to the value of 95% of the total consideration and Subordinated Debt securities for the remaining 5% to AIB, BOI, Anglo Irish Bank, INBS and EBS. Approximately two-thirds of the assets backing these loans were located in Ireland. The remainder was mainly located in the UK with smaller concentrations in the US and throughout continental Europe.
NAMA’s overriding commercial objective is to generate the best achievable financial return for the taxpayer. However, within the context of this commercial remit and consistent with Section 2 of the NAMA Act, an additional major objective is to contribute to employment and economic recovery and to the achievement of broader social and economic policy objectives.
To achieve this NAMA will pursue all debts owed by its debtors to the greatest extent feasible through intensive engagement with its debtors in the formulation of a strategy for debt repayment and through such strategies working towards a series of debt reduction milestones culminating in full repayment of NAMA borrowings by 2018.
To end 2014 NAMA had redeemed €16.6bn in Senior Bonds, and the Agency has committed to redeeming 80% of its Senior debt by year end 2016. NAMA is confident it will redeem both its senior and subordinated debt by the end of 2018.
In 2014, the Department carried out a review of NAMA under Section 227 of the NAMA Act 2009. The review required the Minister to,
- assess the extent to which NAMA has made progress toward achieving its overall objectives, and
- decide whether continuation of NAMA is necessary having regard to the purposes of this Act.
Taking into account what NAMA has achieved to date the report concluded that:
- NAMA has made significant progress in achieving its overall objectives.
- Based on NAMA’s performance to date and its financial projections in light of the strength of current investor interest in Ireland, NAMA is well positioned to achieve its objectives and so continues to be necessary.