NAMA Loan Book

Questions (68)

Michael McGrath

Question:

68. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he has asked the National Asset Management Agency, as part of the current review of the agency, to consider selling off large portions of its loan book through a small number of big ticket portfolio deals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18468/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy may be aware, in the context of my Department's review, I have asked NAMA to evaluate their disposal timing and strategy in the context of current market demand and explore the advantages and disadvantages of accelerating its disposal strategy. 

I understand that the NAMA Board is currently reviewing all strategic options and that the Board expects to complete this process in the near future at which point the Board will report its findings to me.

NAMA Loan Book

Questions (69)

Michael McGrath

Question:

69. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the current book value and the estimated market value of loan assets and property assets currently under the control of the National Asset Management Agency; if he will set out the proposed disposal schedule; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18469/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Details relating to NAMA s loan portfolio are set out in its Section 55 Quarterly Accounts, which are available on the Agency s website, www.nama.ie.  The Deputy may also wish to note that NAMA s Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2013 will be published within the next two months as soon as the C and AG has completed its audit.  As the Deputy may be aware, the Board of NAMA, is currently undertaking a review of strategic options.  This review includes the disposal schedule. The Board expects to complete this process in the near future at which point the Board will report its findings to me.

NAMA Operations

Questions (70)

Michael McGrath

Question:

70. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance when he expects the ongoing review of the National Asset Management Agency to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18470/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

As I outlined in Question 68 of 27th February 2014, my Department's review of NAMA is on-going, it cannot be completed until the final C and AG report has been received.  I am advised that the C and AG review is being conducted and the report should be finalised and presented to me shortly. I expect my Department's review of NAMA to be completed in the coming months.

IBRC Liquidation

Questions (71)

Michael McGrath

Question:

71. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide a detailed update on the special liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, including the steps that have been taken to date by the special liquidator; the position on the transfer of loans from IBRC to the National Asset Management Agency; if any discount will be applied to the loans in their transfer to NAMA; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18471/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Special Liquidators are continuing with the orderly and efficient wind down of IBRC in accordance with the provisions of the IBRC Act, 2013 (the "Act") and instructions that have been provided to the Special Liquidators by me under the Act.

The sales process of the five largest loan portfolios of IBRC (in Special Liquidation), namely the Evergreen, Rock, Salt, Stone and Sand portfolios have now concluded. The sales process for these IBRC portfolios, including their segmentation to meet demand from international buyers, has delivered a very positive result with over 90% of the par value of IBRC s loan assets now sold within 14 months of the appointment of the Special Liquidators.

It is expected that the residual amount outstanding under the Facility Deed will be satisfied by the transfer to NAMA at the independent valuation price of loan assets that were not sold in the loan portfolio sales process.

NAMA Portfolio

Questions (72)

Michael McGrath

Question:

72. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide details of the number of court cases that the National Asset Management Agency has taken or plans to take to secure reversal of asset transfers by NAMA debtors which the agency believes were designed to put assets beyond the reach of the agency; if he will provide a breakdown of the type of assets which have been returned to the agency thus far, including cash, property and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18472/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by NAMA that it has obtained additional security over assets with an aggregate value in excess of €800m. NAMA advises that this breaks down circa two-thirds/one-third between property and non-property assets, mainly share portfolios and cash.

Further detail on this process is set out in NAMA's Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2012, which is available on the Agency's website, www.nama.ie.

National Treasury Management Agency Deposits

Questions (73)

Michael McGrath

Question:

73. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the amount of cash reserves currently held by the National Treasury Management Agency; if the NTMA has any plans to borrow further money on the markets in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18473/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

At end-March 2014 the Exchequer had €21.5 billion available in cash and other short-term balances.

In January 2014, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) issued €3.75 billion of a new 10-year bond, at a yield of 3.54 per cent. Following that syndicated issue, the NTMA issued a Funding Statement to the market in February, setting an indicative target for total Irish Government bond issuance in 2014, so as to pre-fund 2015 needs, of approximately €8 billion. A working plan to raise the remaining approximate €4 billion through a series of bond auctions over the course of 2014, with indicative sizes ranging from €0.5 to €1 billion, was outlined in the Funding Statement.

The bond auctions in March and April 2014 each raised €1 billion at respective yields of 2.967 per cent and 2.917 per cent, the lowest yields ever achieved on the issue of Irish 10-year bonds.  With these transactions, over 70 per cent of the bond funding target for 2014 has been completed. The next bond auction is scheduled for Thursday 8 May 2014, subject to market conditions.

As also announced in the February 2014 Funding Statement, a limited programme of Treasury Bill auctions resumed in March with the first auction raising €500 million of three-month Bills at an annualised yield of 0.20 per cent. The next Treasury Bill auction is scheduled for Thursday 15 May 2014, subject to market conditions.

Departmental Correspondence

Questions (74)

Michael McGrath

Question:

74. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his plans to publish correspondence between his Department and the European Central Bank in the autumn of 2010 dealing with the question of the then Government's efforts to impose losses on senior bondholders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18474/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have no plans to publish records of the type mentioned in the Deputy's question.

It is normal practice for States to protect the confidentiality of deliberations with international bodies particularly where sensitive issues are involved. Reflecting this principle, the Freedom of Information Act provides for exemptions from release of records relating to, for example, negotiations with international bodies, information received in confidence, commercially sensitive information and the financial and economic interests of the State in sections 24, 26 and 31. These exemptions enable public bodies to protect the integrity and viability of the negotiation and decision-making processes and our relationships with international bodies.

Banking Sector Investigations

Questions (75)

Michael McGrath

Question:

75. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the current status of the reports completed by McCann FitzGerald and Ernst and Young into certain corporate governance matters at the former Irish Nationwide Building Society; if the reports have been referred to the Garda and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement; and if he will specify the action currently being taken on foot of the content of the reports. [18475/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy is aware a number of reports were produced by Ernst and Young and McCann FitzGerald at the request of the INBS Board. Copies of all of these reports have been provided to the Central Bank of Ireland ( CBI ) under the terms of a protocol for limited disclosure agreed between the parties to preserve legal privilege over the material. IBRC was prohibited from disclosing these reports to anyone without the consent of CBI, McCann FitzgGerald and Ernst and Young.

I have been advised that given the on-going nature of the investigations by the Authorities, including in particular the investigation being conducted under the Central Bank s Administrative Sanctions Procedure into historic lending practices at INBS, the reports cannot legally be published at this time. Publication of the reports may be considered when the Central Bank proceedings are concluded or when any Garda investigation has been finalised (or any proceedings arising from such investigation are concluded).

Banking Sector Remuneration

Questions (76)

Michael McGrath

Question:

76. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide details for each of the State supported banks, including Irish Bank Resolution Corporation in liquidation, of the number of employees with a remuneration package of between €100,000 and €150,000; a remuneration package of between €150,001 and €200,000; a remuneration package of between €200,001 and €300,000; a remuneration package of between €300,001 and €400,000; a remuneration package of more than €400,000; if any such employees have yet taken a reduction in their remuneration on foot of the Mercer report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18476/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy will be aware the Review of Remuneration Practices and Frameworks at the Covered Institutions (the "Mercer Report") was published by my Department on 12 March 2013. The following breakdown of total salary and remuneration appears on page 43 of that review.

 -

AIB

AIB

BOI

BOI

Number of staff

Salary

Remuneration

Salary

Remuneration

€300,000 - €399,999

7

11

20

34

€400,000 - €499,999

3

11

12

15

€500,000 or over

0

0

6

11

Note 1: There are differences in data methodology, timing and exchange rates which account for differences in the data presented here and that shown in responses to parliamentary questions. Data for PTSB and IBRC is not shown  for reasons of data protection. There is a whole host of additional disclosures in the report that give further detailed breakdowns of pay across the banks, in particular the chart on page 42 and the table on page 46 which shows a breakdown by institution by grade of the number of staff, their salary and total remuneration as follows -

 #

AIB

BoI(2),

IBRC

PTSB

Chief Executive

Number of employees

1

1

1

1(4)

#

Salary

€425,000

€623,000(3)

€500,000

€400,000

#

Total Remuneration

€488,800

€776,400

€683,600

€460,000

Senior Executives (1)

Number of employees

8

8

7

9

#

Salary

€327,200

€408,3003

€365,100

€209,300

#

Total Remuneration

€434,200

€517,400

€535,700

€269,600

Executives

Number of employees

118

103

46

20

 #

Salary

€174,800

€198,700

€184,100

€173,900

 #

Total Remuneration

€230,100

€251,800

€253,900

€220,100

Senior Manager / Manager

Number of employees

2,199

3,326

291

271

 #

Salary

€87,100

€76,800

€87,200

€83,000

 #

Total Remuneration

€108,300

€96,600

€115,600

€109,200

Assistant Manager / Senior Specialist

Number of employees

3,508

2,405

219

554

 #

Salary

€51,500

€49,800

€55,100

€52,700

 #

Total Remuneration

€62,300

€61,200

€61,900

€65,200

Senior Clerical / Specialist

Number of employees

1,584

3,617

237

518

 #

Salary

€44,100

€41,800

€40,400

€43,800

 #

Total Remuneration

€54,600

€49,900

€45,100

€54,900

Clerical

Number of employees

7,034

4,789

200

982

 #

Salary

€32,600

€29,600

€31,300

€30,000

 #

Total Remuneration

€37,300

€35,800

€34,500

€34,400

Notes:

1. The Leadership Team in AIB.

2. US employees are not included in the corporate grading structure and are therefore not included in this analysis.

3. Salary figures are net of a voluntary waiver where applicable.

4. 2012 Chief Executive data extracted from responses to recent Parliamentary Questions.

Since the Mercer Report was published further remuneration reductions have been targeted and implemented by the various banks particularly in the pensions area. At Bank of Ireland a circa. €400m gain was crystalised in the bank's balance sheet at year end, reflecting reduced benefits flowing from the bank's main pension fund. In addition the Deputy will be aware that current and former staff at ptsb have incurred the closure of their defined benefit pension scheme while at AIB the defined benefit pension scheme was closed to future accrual and staff agreed to various other measures including increased working hours.

Finally I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that there were a total of 978 employees in IBRC on the date of the Special Liquidation, 07 February 2013. Of these, 468 people remain employed and 10 of these are currently serving out their notice periods. The remaining 458 employees are currently scheduled to exit at various dates as the liquidation is completed. I am advised that the average salary of staff in IBRC (in Special Liquidation) has fallen to €72,000.

Since the Mercer report was published there have been no general salary increases at the Government supported banks while the payment of bonuses remains prohibited.

Central Bank of Ireland IT Operations

Questions (77)

Michael McGrath

Question:

77. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide details, including numbers, of enforcement actions being taken by the Central Bank of Ireland against regulated entities; if he will categorise the nature of the actions being taken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18479/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Central Bank's Strategic Plan 2013 - 2015 sets out a strategy of assertive risk-based supervision underpinned by a credible threat of enforcement. Enforcement is an important tool to effect deterrence, achieve compliance and promote positive behaviour. The Central Bank will take enforcement action against regulated entities under its Probability Risk Impact Supervisory System (PRISM) supervisory model. PRISM represents a challenging and proportionate risk-based system of supervision for all financial institutions operating in Ireland.

In 2013, the Central Bank concluded 16 Administrative Sanctions Procedure (ASP) cases, imposing fines totalling €6.35 million. The cases involved firms across most of the Central Bank's areas of responsibility such as banking, insurance, investment firms, retail financial intermediaries and moneylenders. The breaches that arose related to issues such as breaches of prudential requirements (e.g. failure to maintain adequate solvency margins; failure to ensure accuracy of regulatory reporting to the Central Bank; failures in relation to systems and controls dealing with technical reserves), breaches of the Consumer Protection Code, failure to comply with the Consumer Protection Code for Licensed Moneylenders and the failure by a listed company to comply with the requirements relating to the proper maintenance of an insiders' list.

The total fines of €6.35 million for 2013 includes a €5 million fine imposed on Quinn Insurance Limited (Under Administration) that was waived due to the exceptional circumstances of the case, namely that the firm is under administration and is wholly reliant on funding from the Insurance Compensation Fund, which is ultimately funded by the public. The Central Bank has a policy of issuing detailed publicity statements following the conclusion of each ASP settlement. Further details of each of the above cases is available on the Central Bank's website.

In 2014 to date, I have been informed that the Central Bank has concluded 4 ASP cases, imposing fines totalling €575,640. The cases dealt with issues including breaches of large exposure requirements, capital adequacy requirements, the Insurance Mediation Regulations and MiFID Regulations. Detailed publicity statements in relation to 3 of these cases are available on the Central Bank's website. With regard to the fourth, relating to a breach of professional indemnity insurance requirements, I have been informed by the Central Bank that this is one of a number of cases relating to a particular enforcement theme and a publicity statement relating to this case along with other cases dealing with the same enforcement theme will issue as a batch later in the year. This approach seeks to maximise the public impact of the enforcement work.

I have been further informed by the Central Bank that its Enforcement Division currently has 29 open ASP cases. These open cases cover the range of areas of the Central Bank's supervisory responsibility. The issues under investigation also broadly align with the Central Bank's public statement of its enforcement priorities, which was published on its website on 25 February 2014.

The issues under investigation in the open ASP cases include compliance with prudential requirements by banks and insurance companies; compliance with the MiFID conduct of business rules by investment firms; compliance with the Consumer Protection Code and compliance with requirements to have adequate systems and controls in place. The open ASP cases also include investigations into historical lending practices at Irish Nationwide Building Society, financial irregularities at the former Bloxham Stockbrokers and issues related to Quinn Insurance Limited.

The open cases also include a case relating to a possible breach of the Market Abuse Directive Regulations, which has been referred to a panel of Assessors under Regulation 35 of those Regulations.

The open cases further include the Central Bank's investigations into Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo Irish Bank) and Custom House Capital, both of which are currently suspended, following consultation with the Gardaí, to avoid the risk of prejudicing any current or future criminal prosecutions.

In addition, as set out in the Central Bank's Annual Performance Statement for 2012, 841 Regulatory Actions were taken in 2012. The 2013 Annual Performance Statement will be published in due course by the Central Bank. It is expected that the final number of Regulatory Actions for 2013 will be even higher than 2012.