Unfortunately, the UK Insolvency Service doesn’t allow searches on bankrupts’ former countries of residence, so it is not possible to search for (formerly) Irish-based individuals being declared bankrupt in the UK. The reckoning on here is that 17 developers* associated with NAMA have been declared bankrupt in the UK, but last week in the Dail, the Minister for Finance told the Fianna Fail finance spokesperson Michael McGrath that there have in fact been “approximately 20” – so we’re missing the names of “approximately” three. At least six of the “approximately 20” were resident in Northern Ireland.
Minister Noonan reiterated NAMA’s stance that it is neutral on the jurisdiction in which a developer is declared bankrupt. In one case – of an unnamed Northern Ireland bankruptcy, NAMA is opposing the discharge from bankruptcy. And in at least one other case – John Fleming – NAMA is seeking to attach the earnings of the discharged bankrupt, and is pursuing the private pension.
Last week, we learned the stance of the state-controlled Irish banks towards bankruptcy in other jurisdictions when the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty sought a response from Minister Noonan
“AIB: I am advised that the incidences of persons declaring bankruptcy in other jurisdictions are uncommon for AIB. Notwithstanding this, AIB considers each action on a case by case basis and will adopt an approach which best protects AIB’s financial and legal position as it seeks to recover outstanding amounts owed regardless of the jurisdiction involved.
PTSB: I am advised that PTSB also adopt an approach to best protect the Bank’s right to seek repayment of all outstanding debt in a fair and equitable manner regardless of the jurisdiction involved.
IBRC: I am advised by IBRC that the approach of the Bank is to work constructively with each borrower on an individual basis to identify the most appropriate loan repayment plan. IBRC takes a very serious view of borrowers seeking bankruptcy in other jurisdictions as a means of circumventing the repayment of monies owed to the Bank. Where necessary, and as has occurred previously, the Bank will pursue borrowers to ensure bankruptcy is declared in what it deems to be the correct jurisdiction, with the ultimate goal of maximising recovery of loans for the Bank. “
IBRC of course famously pursued former tycoon Sean Ignatius Quinn (“Sean Quinn”) who originally succeeded in declaring himself bankrupt in Belfast, but IBRC had that order over-turned and Sean was subsequently declared bankrupt in Dublin.
So, according to NAMA, it has not suffered loss from developers being declared bankrupt in the UK, and in fact NAMA has praised the established expertise of UK officials in tracing assets across borders. But in Sean Quinn’s case, IBRC obviously took a different view, which it presumably it took for financial reasons. Confusing.
* Ray Grehan, Danny Grehan, Tom McFeely, John Fleming, Bernard Doyle, Patrick Fitzpatrick, Tony Fitzpatrick, Paddy Shovlin, Michael Doran, Martin Doran, Alastair Jackson, Fergal McAlinden, Peter McDaid, Mervyn McAlister, Peter Dolan, Sam Thompson, Sean McWilliams