Nama could provide services to new housing body
The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) expects to provide outsourced services to the Government’s planned Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI), which aims to provide up to €750 million in loans to non-Nama developers planning to build homes.
This may result in a slowdown in the pace of planned job cuts at Nama in the short term.
Speaking to The Irish Times yesterday, Nama chairman Frank Daly said that HBFI would probably be established as a standalone entity outside the National Treasury Management Agency, which houses Nama. Its €750 million of funding is earmarked to come from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.
Nama will probably have a “service level agreement” with the agency, which, the Government revealed on Tuesday as part of Budget 2018, would offer loans on “commercial market-equivalent terms and conditions”, Mr Daly said.
Nama has seen 91 staff depart since the beginning of 2016 as it sold off portfolios of loans at pace.
It has about 250 employees, including 87 staff working on the agency’s programme to boost homebuilding among its borrowers. It expects to see its staff number fall by a further 11 early next year.
“We’re still in a downward trajectory, but [for] a certain amount of those who might be leaving, we might say to them ‘there’s a job for you to work on HBFI’,” Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh said.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said in his Budget 2018 speech that the planned HBFI fund aimed at non-Nama developers would have the potential to fund the construction of 6,000 homes.
It is expected that HBFI will offer loans of up to 80 per cent of the value of projects, which is more than the main Irish banks are currently lending. The main banks are currently offering as much as 65-70 per cent debt financing for projects.