Question No. 135 answered with Question No. 83.

Mortgage Resolution Processes

Questions (136)

Finian McGrath

Question:

136. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding distressed mortgage holders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22872/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

As statutory regulator of credit institutions, the Central Bank has the power, from both a prudential and consumer protection perspective, to require banks to meaningfully and sustainably address mortgage arrears cases on their books. The Central Bank's Mortgage Arrears Resolution Targets (MART) process, as announced in March 2013, sets time bound and measurable targets for the main banks requiring them to systematically address their arrears book. Under this rolling process, quarterly performance targets have so far been set to the end of June 2014 to require the banks to propose and put in place durable long term solutions to address individual cases of mortgages in difficulty where the mortgage is more than 90 days in arrears. The Deputy will be aware that the Central Bank has now concluded its audit and assessment of a sample of the banks' end 2013 target returns. Based on the information submitted, the Central Bank has advised that the banks have indicated they have met the targets of proposing solutions to 50% and concluding solutions for 15% of those in arrears greater than 90 days.

The consumer protection provisions of the Central Bank are contained within the Consumer Protection Code and the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA). In particular, the CCMA sets out requirements for mortgage lenders dealing with borrowers facing or in mortgage arrears on their PDH mortgage and it applies to all regulated mortgage lenders. The CCMA is issued under Section 117 of the Central Bank Act 1989 and lenders covered by the Code are required to comply with it as a matter of law. The Central Bank has the power to administer sanctions for a contravention of this Code. On the BTL mortgage aspect, the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, which falls within the remit of the Minister for Housing and Planning, provides the main regulatory framework for the private rental sector and prescribes the statutory rights and obligations of landlords and tenants.

The Central Bank published the revised CCMA in June 2013. As part of the financial institutions' delivery of full implementation of the revised CCMA, the boards of directors of all mortgage lenders were required by the Central Bank to sign off that all of the provisions of the revised CCMA had been fully implemented and tested and that staff training had been completed. Compliance with the CCMA will continue to be central to the Central Bank's work programme throughout 2014 and an inspection of mortgage lenders to test compliance with the revised CCMA will be conducted later this year.

The CCMA provides a strong consumer protection framework to ensure that borrowers struggling to keep up mortgage repayments are treated in a fair and transparent manner by their lender, and that long term resolution is sought by lenders with each of their borrowers. If a borrower is not happy with the way that their lender is dealing with them, or if they think the lender is not complying with the CCMA, the borrower can make a complaint to their lender. Under the CCMA, borrowers have the right to appeal to the lender's Appeals Board if they are not happy with the alternative repayment arrangement offered or where a lender declines to offer an alternative repayment arrangement or if they believe they have been wrongly classified as not co-operating. If the borrower is not satisified with the outcome of the appeal or complaint made to the lender they can refer the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman.

The monthly mortgage restructures and arrears data published by my Department also provides an impetus for those MART banks to increase the pace of provision of mortgage restructures. The latest publication, in respect of the end of March, shows that some progress has been made in putting permanent mortgage restructures in place. For example, the total number of permanent restructures of principal dwelling houses (PDH) mortgages has risen from around 51,000 in December to around 62,000 in March 2014. This data, as well as the Central Bank quarterly mortgage arrears publications, would appear to demonstrate some success by the lenders in addressing the accounts in arrears as well as measures to prevent borrowers from going into arrears.

Tax Reliefs Availability

Questions (137)

Michael McCarthy

Question:

137. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Finance in relation to the 15 year rule regarding capital gains tax, the relief available to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22904/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that retirement relief from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) may be available to an individual on the disposal of all or part of the chargeable business assets of his/her business or farm, subject to meeting the conditions set out in Section 598 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.

With regard to the particular instance set out by the Deputy, relief may apply where the farm is being transferred to the owner's child referred to as a disposal in the Act where the person making the disposal is an individual aged 55 years or more at the time of the disposal. Furthermore, the disposal must be of qualifying assets which have been owned by that individual for a minimum period of time prior to the disposal.

It appears from initial Revenue enquiries that relief may be available in this case, notwithstanding certain time limits referred to by the Deputy. The applicable rules and conditions are however complex, and it would be necessary for the taxpayer or his agent to provide all of the details to permit a final determination to be made. The taxpayer or his agent should contact Ms Karen Drake (021-6027268) at Revenue House, Cork to resolve the matter.

Mortgage Schemes

Questions (138)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

138. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Finance the assistance that is being provided to those in negative equity who have large mortgages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22928/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Government understands the concern of people who are experiencing negative equity on their homes. However the primary focus at the moment is to deal with the problem of people who are experiencing difficulty with the repayments on their mortgage. The focus of Government and Central Bank actions relates in particular to personal insolvency reform and the Central Bank engagement with banks to require them to propose sustainable solutions to their customers in mortgage distress.

The Central Bank's Mortgage Arrears Resolution Targets (MART) process, as announced in March 2013, sets time bound and measurable targets for the main banks requiring them to systematically address their arrears book. Under this rolling process, quarterly performance targets have so far been set to the end of June 2014 to require the banks to propose and put in place durable long term solutions to address individual cases of mortgages in difficulty where the mortgage is more than 90 days in arrears. The Deputy will be aware that the Central Bank has now concluded its audit and assessment of a sample of the banks' end 2013 target returns. Based on the information submitted, the Central Bank has advised that the banks have indicated they have met the targets of proposing solutions to 50% and concluding solutions for 15% of those in arrears greater than 90 days.

The monthly mortgage restructures and arrears data published by my Department also provides an impetus for those MART banks to increase the pace of provision of mortgage restructures. The latest publication, in respect of the end of March, shows that some progress has been made in putting permanent mortgage restructures in place. For example, the total number of permanent restructures of principal dwelling houses (PDH) mortgages has risen from around 51,000 in December to around 62,000 in March 2014. This data, as well as the Central Bank quarterly mortgage arrears publications, would appear to demonstrate some success by the lenders in addressing the accounts in arrears as well as measures to prevent borrowers from going into arrears.

While the main focus has been on people experiencing repayment difficulty with their mortgage as opposed to those currently experiencing a negative equity situation, the Government is fully committed to helping address the affordability constraints faced by those mortgage holders who bought homes at the height of the property boom between 2004 and 2008. In this regard, I have fulfilled the commitment in the Programme for Government to increase the rate of mortgage interest relief to 30 per cent for first time buyers who took out their first mortgage in that period. A document which illustrates the maximum gains for eligible individuals is available on the Department of Finance's tax policy website at http://taxpolicy.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Mortgage-Interest-Relief.pdf.

In general, the Government is of the view that it is the regeneration of the economy, the restoration of employment levels and real growth that will most effectively and efficiently address the problem of negative equity and that is why the overall approach of Government, through its many initiatives, is to generate and support economic growth.

Research and Development Supports

Questions (139)

Jim Daly

Question:

139. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider sponsoring a review of Ireland's competitiveness for attracting inward investment and research and development, noting in particular the increased competition and suite of tax incentives being offered by the United Kingdom with the patent box and overhauled corporate tax rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22954/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Deputy will be pleased to know that the competitiveness of Ireland's regime for Research and Development ('R&D') was a key focus of the review of the R&D Tax Credit that I commissioned in 2013. A whole chapter of this report was devoted to an international comparison of the regime with that in place in other countries, and the full results of the review can be viewed on my Department's website at http://budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2014/Documents/Department%20of%20Finance%20Review%20of%20R&D%20Tax%20Credit%202013.pdf.

I am confident that the Deputy will be comforted by the fact that this review concluded that Ireland's regime is among the 'best in class' internationally. The Review recommended that we make some modest enhancements to improve the tax credit even further the Government implemented in Finance Act (No.2) 2013 in December past. More broadly, my Department is very conscious of the need to maintain a competitive corporate tax regime and to that end, closely monitors developments in other countries. However, it is not appropriate to single out any particular country or corporate tax system and comment on them in this way.

The changes that I have introduced in recent budgets and Finance Acts highlight the on-going work by my Department to make sure that the Irish corporate tax offering stays competitive as we work to attract investment and jobs to Ireland. For example, we have further enhancements to the R&D regime, introduced a tax regime for Real Estate Investment Trusts and the package of measures to assist the SME sector (among others). For further information on our regime, I would refer the Deputy to the literature on the Budget Website which is available at http://www.budget.gov.ie.

Financial Services Ombudsman

Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 89.

Questions (140)

Michael McGrath

Question:

140. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will address an issue raised in correspondence in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 14; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22957/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

 Firstly, I must point out that the Financial Services Ombudsman is independent in the performance of his statutory functions. The Financial Services Ombudsman s Bureau was established under the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act, 2004. The legislation provides for an independent, impartial investigation and resolution of disputes between consumers and financial service providers. The Financial Services Ombudsman was set up to adjudicate on unresolved disputes between complainants and financial service providers. The services of the Ombudsman are free to the complainant. If a consumer has made a formal complaint to the financial institution in question and if not satisfied with the reply received, then he/she may contact the Financial Services Ombudsman in relation to the matter.

The legislation provides the Ombudsman with various powers in order to determine jurisdiction on a complaint including the following: Section 57BY. (1) The Financial Services shall investigate a complaint if satisfied that the complaint is within the jurisdiction of the Financial Services Ombudsman. 57BZ. (1) Without limiting section 57BY, the Financial Services Ombudsman can decide not to investigate a complaint, or to discontinue an investigation of a complaint, on the ground that (a) the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or was not made in good faith, or (b) the subject-matter of the complaint is trivial, or (c) the conduct complained of occurred at too remote a time to justify investigation, or (d) there is or was available to the complainant an alternative and satisfactory means of redress in relation to the conduct complained of, or (e) the complainant has no interest or an insufficient interest in the conduct complained of.

I note from the correspondence received that the named person was informed in June 2013 that the Financial Services Ombudsman had decided to discontinue the investigation of his complaint pursuant to Section 57BZ (1). I must advise the Deputy that it would not be appropriate for me to comment on this decision by the Ombudsman; neither should I advise individuals on what options are available if the Ombudsman decides not to investigate a complaint.

Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 89.

Banking Sector

Questions (142)

Ciara Conway

Question:

142. Deputy Ciara Conway asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to a situation (details supplied) regarding banking licences; his views on the veracity of the same; the actions his Department has carried out in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23011/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have been informed by the Central Bank that Allied Irish Banks plc has always operated with a banking licence and currently holds a banking licence under Section 9 of the Central Bank Act, 1971. This licence allows the bank to conduct banking business. As defined in the Act, "banking business" means business which consists of (a) the business of accepting deposits payable on demand or on notice or at a fixed or determinable future date, but excluding deposits with a trader from persons employed by him in his trading business or from his customers in the normal course of his trading business and deposits or instalments in respect of the letting or selling of goods under a hire-purchase agreement or a credit-sale agreement, or (b) the business aforesaid and any other business normally carried on by a bank.

In the case of IBRC, once the bank was put into liquidation on the 7th February 2013, the Central Bank withdraw its banking licence which was no longer required as the bank was in wind down.  

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland

Questions (143)

Micheál Martin

Question:

143. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding the new State vehicle to channel funds from the German State bank, KfW; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17512/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government on Thursday 22 May 2014 announced that over €500 million in additional credit will be made available to Irish SMEs through the establishment of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). The SBCI is a new company and it is intended that it will be initially financed by the German Promotional Bank KfW, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the directed portfolio of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). The involvement of KfW follows directly from discussion between the Taoiseach and Chancellor Merkel following Ireland's successful exit from the EU/IMF Programme on finding ways to reinforce Ireland's economic recovery.

Credit is the lifeblood of all businesses and SMEs will now be able to access loans of greater duration, with enhanced terms and potentially at a lower cost facilitated by the SBCI and its on-lending partners. Augmenting the SME credit landscape in Ireland, the SBCI will encourage greater competition in the SME lending sector, promoting economic growth and job creation in this key sector of our economy. The Government will be prioritising the passage of the required legislation through the Houses of the Oireachtas and I expect the SBCI to be facilitating lending before the end of this year. 

Small and Medium Enterprises Debt

Questions (144)

Dara Calleary

Question:

144. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Finance his views that the employment prospects for the small and medium enterprise sector would be enhanced by more comprehensive action to tackle SME debt; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17456/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

In June 2013, the Central Bank set quarterly institution-specific performance targets for covered banks to move distressed SME borrowers onto longer-term forbearance solutions. The targets set reflect the banks' capacity, processes and systems. The Central Bank has informed the officials in my Department that the banks have reported that they have met their required targets to date. This perspective has been reaffirmed by both the IMF and the European Commission who report that the workout of SME arrears is progressing and that imposed targets are being met.

Resolutions offered to SME customers in difficulty are assessed on the basis of the borrowers maximum affordability. The restructures are often complex due to multiple debt connections. Irish banks are advancing the process of restructuring their SME loan books. I am informed by Bank of Ireland that the annual report for the year ended 31 December 2013 gives comprehensive additional asset quality disclosures on all of its Loan Portfolios from page 380 to 423, including details of forbearance measures on its SME loan portfolios from page 416. In particular, Bank of Ireland have indicated that they had reached resolution in 90% of distressed SME cases.

I am informed by AIB that disclosures in relation to its SME portfolio are contained in the Credit Risk disclosures on page 71 to 153 of the 2013 Annual Financial Report. In particular, the AIB's results indicate a resolution level of approximately 65%. It is also worth noting that defaulted loans for both banks have reduced year-on-year.

The Central Bank's process of assessing financial institutions in their efforts to move distressed SME borrowers onto longer term sustainable solutions is an important element in assisting SMEs to potentially transition from a distressed to a more sustainable state and will continue throughout 2014. Additionally, the Government's enactment of legislation to allow small companies (as defined by the Companies Acts) to apply to the Circuit Court for examinership and the on going work of the expanded Credit Review Office are all initiatives that will assist viable SMEs in addressing their debt situation and consequently enhance the employment prospects for the sector as a whole.

Insurance Levy

Questions (145)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

145. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide an update on the Government's potential levy charge on insurance companies and its potential contribution to a distress fund for home owners without flood cover; the amount of funds that will go towards the Office of Public Works flood relief schemes to increase insurability of homes in certain areas; the amount that will go towards home owners who cannot afford to purchase insurance schemes due to persistent high costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16811/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Government has not made a decision to introduce a flood levy on insurance premiums nor has there been any decision about how the proceeds of such a levy would be distributed. Government policy in relation to flooding aims to address the underlying problem through appropriate remedial works where this is economically feasible. The Office of Public Works is committed to alleviating the impact of flooding through the provision of defences, as well as a comprehensive assessment of flood risk throughout the country, and development of flood risk management plans for the areas most at risk under the National Catchment Flood Risk Assessment & Management (CFRAM) Programme.

This commitment is underpinned by a very significant capital works investment programme which will see up to €225 million being spent on flood relief measures over a five year period from 2012 to 2016. Works are completed on a prioritised basis. Because of the cost and scale of these types of flood defence works, this approach will see benefits over the medium and long term.

In addition, the OPW and Insurance Ireland have agreed on a sustainable system of information sharing in relation to completed flood alleviation schemes so that the insurance industry will have a much greater level of information and understanding of the extent of the protection provided by completed OPW flood defence works and, as such, will be able to reflect this in assessing the provision of flood insurance to householders in areas where works have been completed.

My Department is also undertaking a review of measures to address the availability of flood insurance cover, including the experience and proposals in other countries. In assessing these, care has to be taken that the proposed solutions do not put in place arrangements which, over time, would weaken the provision of insurance cover by the market with possible negative long-term consequences for the economy. The Insurance Compensation Fund (ICF) levy of 2% is applied to home, motor and commercial insurance under the Insurance Act 1964 and came into effect from 1 January 2012.

Tax Rebates

Questions (146)

Jack Wall

Question:

146. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Finance if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare is due a refund on their tax liability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23049/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they have no record of a refund claim from the person concerned. I have further been advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they have written to the person concerned to obtain the details necessary to carry out a review of his liability for 2013.

Financial Services Ombudsman

Questions (147)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

147. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance when the merger of the Financial Services Ombudsman and the Pensions Ombudsman will take place; the purpose of this merger; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23052/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

In April 2013, the Government  decided to amalgamate the Office of the Pensions Ombudsman and the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman. This decision was taken following a review of the policy decision - taken earlier - to amalgamate both offices. Most replies which were received during the consultation and review process were supportive of the amalgamation. The expertise in both offices will enhance the work of the amalgamated office. Primary legislation will be required to effect the amalgamation. Both the Department of Social Protection and my Department will be involved in the preparatory work and in the drafting of the necessary legislation. A Steering Group consisting of officials from the Department of Social Protection and my Department will be established shortly to progress the work. The Financial Services Ombudsman and the Pensions Ombudsman will be involved during all phases of the work. The topic was discussed at a recent meeting between my officials and the Financial Services Ombudsman Council. The proposed date for enactment of the necessary legislation has not yet been agreed.

Small and Medium Enterprises Debt

Questions (148)

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

148. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Finance his views on the fact that the Central Bank of Ireland in its recent report entitled, Profiling the Indebtedness of Irish SMEs, demonstrated through its sample analysis that 16.3% of SMEs have a debt-to-turnover ratio greater than one third; his views that these SMEs would likely comprise up to 125,000 employees or over 6% of total employment in Ireland; his views on whether this high number of persons employed in over-indebted small businesses are at risk of losing their jobs if the banks are forced to end their forbearance to those SMEs in arrears and defaulting on their loans in advance of the AQR process due for completion in October and the stress test conducted in co-operation with the European Banking Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23056/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy has mentioned, the Central Bank recently published a paper as part of its "Economic Letters Series" entitled "Profiling the Indebtedness of Irish SMEs". The findings include: 34 per cent of SMEs report having no debt; The vast majority (84 per cent) of SMEs have a Debt to Turnover ratio of less than one third; Only 7 per cent of SMEs have a Debt to Turnover ratio of greater than one.

In June 2013, the Central Bank set quarterly institution-specific performance targets for covered banks to move distressed SME borrowers onto longer-term forbearance solutions. The targets set reflect the banks' capacity, processes and systems. The Central Bank has informed the officials in my Department that the banks have reported that they have met their required targets to date. This perspective has been reaffirmed by both the IMF and the European Commission who report that the workout of SME arrears is progressing and that imposed targets are being met.

Resolutions offered to SME customers in difficulty are assessed on the basis of the borrowers maximum affordability. The restructures are often complex due to multiple debt connections.  Irish banks are advancing the process of restructuring their SME loan books. I am informed by Bank of Ireland that the annual report for the year ended 31 December 2013 gives comprehensive additional asset quality disclosures on all of its Loan Portfolios from page 380 to 423, including details of forbearance measures on its SME loan portfolios from page 416. In particular, Bank of Ireland have indicated that they had reached resolution in 90% of distressed SME cases.

I am informed by AIB that disclosures in relation to its SME portfolio are contained in the Credit Risk disclosures on pages 71 to 153 of the 2013 Annual Financial Report. In particular, the AIB's results indicate a resolution level of approximately 65%. It is also worth noting that defaulted loans for both banks have reduced year-on-year.

The Central Bank's process of assessing financial institutions in their efforts to move distressed SME borrowers onto longer term sustainable solutions is an important element in assisting SMEs to potentially transition from a distressed to a more sustainable state and will continue in 2014. Additionally, the Government's enactment of legislation to allow small companies (as defined by the Companies Acts) to apply to the Circuit Court for examinership and the ongoing work of the expanded Credit Review Office are all initiatives that will assist viable SMEs in adressing their debt situation.

The Governor of the Central Bank indicated recently that the purpose of the forthcoming ECB stress tests on 128 European banks, which includes Irish banks, was to remove market and government doubts about the ability of banks to absorb losses with their own shareholders funds. It is important to highlight that the ECB Comprehensive Assessment will not get into loan restructuring. The objective of the review is focused solely on determining whether the banks have enough provisions against their loans and capital. Irish banks have just undergone such an exercise, their second in less than three years, which led to a substantial increase in their loan loss provisions at year end. As I have stated previously, I do not anticipate any capital issues for the Irish banks arising from the Comprehensive Assessment.

Stock Exchange

Questions (149)

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

149. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Finance if Allied Irish Banks since its January 2011 listing on the Enterprise Securities Market of the Irish Stock Exchange has been subject to Market Abuse (Directive 2003/6/EC) Regulations 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23057/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy is aware AIB is quoted on the Enterprise Securities Market (ESM) of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) since January 2011 and complies with its listing rules and requirements. The ESM is a Multilateral Trading Facility and is not strictly subject to the Market Abuse (Directive 2003/6/EC) Regulations 2005, however core elements apply through other legislation, for example extensive prohibitions on insider trading under the Companies Act.

Furthermore, in light of its status as a significant corporate entity AIB has continued to voluntarily comply with the provisions of the Market Abuse (Directive 2003/6/EC) Regulations 2005 since leaving the ISE's Main Securities Market in 2011.

Banking Sector

Questions (150)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

150. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding a property swap; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23073/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Deputy will be aware that I must ensure that Permanent TSB is run on a commercial, cost effective and independent basis to ensure the value of the bank as an asset to the State. Under the Relationship Framework which governs the relationship with Permanent TSB I recognise that the bank remains a separate economic unit with independent powers of decision. A copy of the Relationship Framework can be found at: http://banking.finance.gov.ie/presentations-and-latest-documents/.

The Board and management team retain responsibility and authority for determining the bank's strategy and commercial policies and conducting its day-to-day operations. I will ensure that the investment in the bank is managed on a commercial basis and will not intervene in day-to-day management decisions of the bank (including lending decisions). On this basis my officials have forwarded the details supplied to Permanent TSB who have confirmed that they will contact the customer(s) concerned.

IBRC Mortgage Loan Book

Questions (151)

Dan Neville

Question:

151. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Finance if the performing mortgages which were with Irish Nationwide and now with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation will be put into the National Asset Management Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23089/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that 64% of the residential mortgage portfolio of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited (in Special Liquidation) have been sold to two buyers, namely Lone Star and Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. A mixture of performing and non-performing loans were sold.

The Special Liquidators confirm that NAMA will not now be obliged to purchase the unsold residential mortgages at their independent valuation as previously envisaged. The Special Liquidators will now devise and manage a further sale process in respect of these unsold assets in a manner that maximises the return to all remaining creditors of IBRC, including the State.