Monday, 19 October 2009

Associated loans - what the hell are they?

Yes, NAMA again.

This question has been keeping me awake at night. The Draft Business Plan for NAMA identifies 36% of loans to be bought as being "associated loans", without any clear explanation of what that might mean. The Department of Finance is only marginally more enlightening with this:
Associated loans will be those loans which are not in the land and development category but which are held by individuals/companies that also have land and development exposures or the borrower may be a systemic risk to the financial system. Associated loans will take account of cross collateralisation and other associated loan exposures of borrowers.
which is pretty much what one would have guessed, but gets us little closer to the purpose for which these funds were advanced and to whom.

I have been searching for more detail, but have found nothing. And in the absence of facts the imagination runs riot. Are they unsecured? Do they represent advances to insolvent creditors (like rolled up interest for example)? I don't know, but would sure like to know.

I think we, as taxpayers, have over 27 billion good reasons why we should be told a bit more about this.

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