Header Item Written Answers Nos 23-31
 Header Item National Treasury Management Agency Deposits

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 815 No. 3
Unrevised

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Written Answers Nos 23-31

National Treasury Management Agency Deposits

 23. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the amount of cash reserve currently held by the State through the National Treasury Management Agency; the banks with whom that money is currently on deposit; the interest rate on each of those specific deposits; if he is satisfied that the State is getting the best return on those funds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41295/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I am informed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) that the Exchequer had €25.6 billion on hand in Exchequer cash and other short-term cash management balances at the end of September 2013.   Of that amount, €12.5 billion was held in the Exchequer account at the Central Bank of Ireland. The balance was held in short-term investments, including bank deposits.   

  The State earns a return on these investments, and I am satisfied that the NTMA manages the cash balances in a prudent manner consistent with minimising risk and always having sufficient cash on hand to cover any volatility which might arise.

  Balances held in the Exchequer account at the Central Bank of Ireland earn interest at the Euro Overnight Index Average (EONIA) rate. These balances are available immediately to the State.

  The identity of the NTMA’s investment counterparties and the rate of return on NTMA investments is commercially-sensitive information. These investments are available to the State at short notice.

  Finally, I would add that in view of its relatively strong funding position, the NTMA announced on Tuesday, 1 October that it has decided to suspend its monthly Treasury Bill auctions for the final quarter of 2013. The NTMA has also decided to defer consideration of any further medium or long-term bond issuance until early 2014.

  Question No. 24 answered with Question No. 14.

 25. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will instruct the Central Bank of Ireland to listen to and to forward on its comments on the rest of the Anglo Irish recordings to which it has access to the Gardaí and Director of Corporate Enforcement.  [41510/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  Neither I nor my Department have any role in the on-going Garda or other regulatory investigations into Anglo Irish Bank or any other Irish Bank. It would be completely inappropriate for the Department of Finance to act outside of its legal powers and interfere with any investigation that could compromise potential future criminal or civil investigations by the bodies responsible under statute. I understand that the Central Bank of Ireland do intend to share with An Garda Síochána, on a without prejudice basis, the Central Bank’s analysis of the issues arising in the Anglo Irish recordings which led the CBI to conclude that no new issues have been identified that relate to suspected criminal offences having occurred.

 26. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan his view on whether current and former ECB officials should make themselves available to an Oireachtas banking inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41469/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013 has completed all stages in the Dáil and Seanad and was signed into law on the 24th July 2013. This legislation establishes a comprehensive statutory underpinning for the Oireachtas to conduct inquiries, including a banking inquiry, within the current constitutional framework.   It is now a matter for Houses of the Oireachtas to determine the form of the inquiry, including the witnesses that they wish to call. In line with the legislation, I would expect anybody called to give evidence to fully participate in the inquiry.

 27. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he has had negotiations with the Troika on a so-called fast track process for repossessions of some properties and the legislative steps he has planned. [41508/13]

 30. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the impact on homeowners seeking to negotiate a sustainable solution with their lender of the agreement between the Government and the Troika to accelerate property repossessions as outlined in the most update to the Memorandum of Understanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41440/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I propose to take Questions Nos. 27 and 30 together.

There is a Troika commitment to examine aspects regarding the operation of the Courts repossession framework. This commitment includes an examination, by the end of October, of the possibility of more expedited proceedings for non-principal private residencies properties and the assigning of additional functions to specialist judges. In addition, an expert group will consider issues around the effectiveness of statutory repossession arrangements and report by end 2013.

It is not considered that these Troika commitments will have any particular impact on the engagement between banks and co-operating borrowers in seeking to conclude a sustainable solution to a mortgage problem The protections available to co-operating borrowers under the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears will continue to remain in place and, of course, the recent Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act now provides the power to a Court, having regard to the individual circumstances, to adjourn a repossession case, as it considers appropriate, to see if a Personal Insolvency Arrangement could be concluded as an alternative option. While primary responsibility for action in this area rests with my colleague, Minister Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, it is my understanding that there are no proposals for any further legislative changes in this area at this time.

 28. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he remains committed to the current timeline for the liquidation of Irish Banking Resolution Corporation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41465/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  The Special Liquidators are continuing the orderly and efficient wind-down of IBRC in accordance with the provisions of the IBRC Act and instructions that have been provided to the Special Liquidators by me under the IBRC Act 2013. The valuation process is on-going and I have been advised that at this point the Special Liquidators have commenced the formal sale process in relation to the sale of the first portfolio tranche of loans assets (called Evergreen) with indicative bids expected later on in October. In relation to the sale of the remaining portfolios, the Special Liquidators have been in communication at this stage with all borrowers and taking professional advice on the appropriate method of disposing of loan assets, and on the appropriate criteria for determining who should qualify to bid for loan assets. The sales processes for the remaining assets are expected to commence in the near future.

I have been informed by the Special Liquidators that they fully expect to comply with the timelines set out by me, as Minister, namely that the valuation of IBRC’s loan assets be completed by 30 November 2013 and that the sale of IBRC assets be completed by 31 December 2013, or as soon as practicable thereafter.

 29. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he is satisfied that there is sufficient oversight of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation liquidation process to ensure the interests of the taxpayer are protected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41461/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  The liquidation of IBRC is similar to any other liquidation with the exception that the Special Liquidators have been appointed by the Minister under the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Act 2013 rather than appointed by the Courts. As such the Special Liquidators are obliged to follow normal Companies Acts priorities throughout the liquidation process and act in a manner that ensures the assets of IBRC are managed in a way which maximises the overall return for all its creditors including the State subject to the provisions of the IBRC Act. In common with the interest of other creditors I and my officials have been in contact with the Special Liquidators throughout the process to date to understand how the winding up has been proceeding. Twice weekly briefings have been established between officials of the Department of Finance and the Special Liquidators to review whether the liquidation of IBRC is being conducted in an efficient and timely fashion.

This constant engagement will continue throughout the course of the liquidation and is supported by a comprehensive monthly report furnished to the Department by the Special Liquidators.

  Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 28.

 31. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the impact he expects the single European banking supervision mechanism will have on the day to day operation of Irish bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41452/13]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  Under the agreement on a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) the ECB will be the direct supervisor of the most significant credit institutions including those with assets of more than €30bn or with an asset-to-GDP ratio of 20%. To ensure the ECB is truly a European level supervisor it will also directly supervise the three most significant banks in each participating Member State. The Capital Requirements legislative package, CRD IV, contains a single rulebook for bank supervision and will apply to banks across the EU from 1 January 2014. When it assumes in full tasks under the SSM which is expected to be in late 2014, the ECB will apply the same CRD IV rules to banks under its supervision. Direct supervision by the ECB should not significantly impact on the banks concerned. In exercising direct supervision the ECB will continue to rely on the resources and cooperation of national supervisors.

While the ECB will be responsible for the supervision of all EU banks it will rely on national level supervisors for the day-to-day supervision of the less significant credit institutions. The ECB will issue instructions, regulations and guidelines to the national supervisors for tasks performed by the national supervisors as part of the SSM. The ECB retains the right to intervene in any bank, at any time. National supervisors will also remain in charge of tasks not conferred on the ECB, for instance in relation to consumer protection, anti-money laundering and payment services.

In Ireland, the Central Bank of Ireland is the national level supervisor of credit institutions. The CBI is actively involved in the preparations for SSM in terms of its participation in all the main committees and their subgroups including also the appointment of staff to the ECB on a temporary basis.


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