Independent TD Mick Wallace has called on Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to suspend the Nama sale of the Project Arrow portfolio of Irish and British loans.
Mr Wallace said only a “US vulture fund” was likely to have the wherewithal to purchase the hundreds of loans in the portfolio.
Project Arrow is the largest portfolio sale yet undertaken by Nama, involving €8.4 billion in non-performing loans. Nama appointed Cushman & Wakefield in February to handle the sale.
“The loans are generally non-performing, so we are likely looking at a very serious write-down,” he said. “I believe that our Minister for Finance Michael Noonan must immediately act and suspend the sale of Project Arrow before it’s too late.
“This must be the first response, along with bringing in the necessary independent expertise to establish what has been happening in Nama and what is the best way forward for the people of Ireland.”
Mr Wallace reiterated his call for an independent commission of investigation into the organisation. “The problems related to the workings of Nama have not gone away,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Finance said the sale of assets and loans was a matter for the Nama board.
“All such decisions are made by reference to Nama’s obligations under section 10 of the Nama Act to maximise the return to Irish taxpayers and do so expeditiously,” she said.
Meanwhile, a Nama spokesman said it did not accept that Mr Wallace’s view was a considered view of the market or of Nama’s mandate and operations. He said the portfolio comprised approximately 400 debtor connections, with loans secured on a large number of regionally located assets.
Nama’s approach to the portfolio sale was similar to recent sales by other lenders such as Lloyds Bank and RBS, he said.