Page last updated at 13:10 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Belfast banker joins the Irish 'bad bank', Nama

Construction scene
Losses in the commercial property sector have badly affected Irish banks

A former Ulster Bank executive in Belfast has been appointed to a key role in Nama, the Irish Republic's so-called "bad bank."

Nama is being set up to buy and manage bad property loans held by the country's financial institutions.

Ronnie Hanna, a former head of credit risk for Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland will carry out a similar job for Nama.

He will report directly to Nama's chief executive Brendan McDonagh

His job is likely to involve deciding which loans can be renewed when they reach maturity and which will have to be repaid immediately.

Nama will pay 54bn euros - in government bonds that can be cashed with the European Central Bank - for commercial property loans with a notional book value of 77bn euros.

The aim of Nama is to remove bad or impaired assets from the banks' balance sheets, and allow them to start lending again and get credit flowing to businesses and home buyers.

It is also hoped that it will enhance Ireland's international credit rating.

The plan assumes Nama's 54bn euro debt will fall by 6.5bn euros per year from 2013 onwards, until Nama's wind-up in 2020.

Around 22bn euros of the assets being taken over by Nama are in the UK, mainly in London and in Northern Ireland.

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