The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) was established in December 2009 as part of the State’s response to the 2008 banking crisis. NAMA paid the banks €31.8 billion for the assets it acquired with €30.2 billion of consideration provided by way of government guaranteed (senior) bonds and a further €1.6 billion in subordinated debt. NAMA redeemed all of its €30.2bn senior debt as of October 2017. The total outstanding subordinated debt is €1.1 billion.
As part of its Annual Report for 2018, NAMA revised its projected surplus to be returned to the State upwards to €4 billion. This was reaffirmed in the Section 53 Annual Statement 2020 which was recently laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas. The realisation of this surplus depends on the success of NAMA’s ongoing deleveraging and completion of its Dublin Docklands SDZ and residential funding programmes.
Surplus funds may only be returned to the Central Fund once NAMA's subordinated debt and equity obligations have been repaid in full, which is expected to be by summer of 2020. It is estimated that €2 billion will be transferred in H2 2020 with a further €2 billion being transferred during 2021. This timeline is contingent on NAMA’s projected surplus of €4 billion remaining unchanged and is subject to prevailing market conditions in realising the remaining assets.
Any NAMA surplus paid, while Exchequer positive, will not impact the general government balance, in line with Eurostat rules. It will be a decision for the Government as to how any surplus returned by NAMA will be utilised within the framework of the fiscal rules at that time. The intention has always been to use such receipts from the resolution of the financial sector crisis to pay down our national debt and reduce our debt servicing costs.