Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Register of transferred NI loans to Nama 'soon'

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

A full register of Northern Ireland loans being transferred to Nama will be available shortly, the NI finance minster has said.

Sammy Wilson was speaking after a meeting with his Irish counterpoint, Brian Lenihan.

Nama, the Irish Republic's so-called "bad bank" is being set up to buy and manage bad property loans held by the country's financial institutions.

The meeting focussed on the latest position on the implementation of Nama.

It also looked at related banking sector issues affecting both jurisdictions.

Mr Wilson said: "The banking sectors in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland remain vitally important and will play a crucial part in economic recovery - businesses and consumers need to have access to finance at reasonable terms to stimulate economic growth.

He said he had a very constructive meeting with Mr Lenihan.

Mr Wilson said: "We discussed the implementation of Nama and I sought clarification on a number of issues relating to the impact on participating banks with a Northern Irish presence as well as local businesses that may be drawn into the process.

"Minister Lenihan assured me that a full register of Northern Irish loans being transferred to Nama will be available shortly and that there will not be a 'firesale' of Northern Ireland based assets," he said.

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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