You take out a multimillion loan, and exit the bank whistling merrily. At some point, you default on the loan. Undeterred, you go back to the agency that’s now looking after the banks’ bad loans and say ‘I know I still owe you quite a bit of cash, but hey, pay me again and we’ll all get along just fine.’ Then you go out of the second bank, whistling merrily once more.
No, it’s not a Marx Brothers skit. This is the reality of Ireland, today.
‘Bankrupt’ developers who owe tens of millions of euro are being paid tidy sums by the very agency they owe all that cash to, yet, this seems to be morally and legally accepted by most.
The agency has confirmed to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry that just five out of a total of 772 borrowers have repaid their loans in full.
Yey, NAMA claims it will return a profit of €1bn by the end of the decade, based on the current conditions of the property market.
NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh has gone as far as saying that paying salaries to developers to run their own businesses is the best deal for the taxpayer.
He said “the alternative for us is to appoint receivers, where the costs would be a multiple of what it costs us to pay people to help us to maximise the return on the assets. So it is a commercial fact of life for NAMA, that we have to maximise the return on the assets and to do it in the most economic and efficient way possible, and that’s what we do.”