National Asset Management Agency Did Not Breach EU Rules
Following a complaint, the European Commission has assessed whether the Irish National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has benefited from illegal State aid and whether it granted undue advantages to certain property developers. The Commission has concluded that NAMA did not breach EU State aid rules.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “We have carefully looked at allegations that NAMA’s activities would distort competition in the Irish property development market. Our assessment shows that NAMA’s activities did not breach EU rules – it has acted as a private operator would have done, and in line with its objective to obtain the best possible financial return for the State and Irish taxpayers.”
NAMA was created by the Irish government in 2009 in the context of the financial crisis to restore stability to the Irish banking system. For this purpose, NAMA acquired large portfolios of non-performing commercial loans secured by land and development property from five Irish credit institutions. Following the assessment of allegations in a complaint from five property developers, the Commission has today concluded that NAMA extends new loans to property developers where it is commercially viable to do so. The State support to NAMA had already been approved under the Commission’s decision of February 2010.
Finally, the Commission found that extending financing to certain property development projects where it is commercially viable to do so is in line with NAMA’s objective to obtain the best possible financial return for the State. Ireland is also expected to wind down NAMA within the timetable originally foreseen, i.e. in 2020/2021. On this basis, the Commission concluded that NAMA did not breach EU State aid rules.