If you were to believe the Government, what unfolded on the afternoon of 6th February, 2013 was the execution of a long-planned orderly wind-down of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation where extensive resource had already been devoted to ensuring the wind-down would be smooth. We were told that the Attorney General Maire Whelan approved the IBRC Bill before the end of 2012.
I don’t believe a word of it.
It’s not just that IBRC mortgage holders are still left dangling without an account to which to pay their monthly mortgage. It’s not just the spectacle of one of our most formidable judges in the land fumbling around hearings on the basis of legislation which he hasn’t seen. Nor is it the subtle signs that the deal will be chipped away at by Europe who may demand that we sell the bonds used to swap with the promissory notes, sooner rather than later.
It’s the unverified claims received on here that law firms are withholding contracts which have been drafted over a period of weeks, because substantial legal fees are not being paid by the Special Liquidator. Might this be a reason why there is uncertainty about the sale of the Project Delta portfolio of €2bn of IBRC loans?
Indeed there have been reports that Irish law firm McCann Fitzgerald is owed a whopping €8m. For a firm with total annual revenue of about €100m, that outstanding sum of €8m, if confirmed would represent a grave loss. [UPDATE: 19th February, 2013. It is understood that the €8m reported in the press is significantly overstated] It is ironic that McCann Fitzgerald produced a briefing on the liquidation without referring to the position of unsecured creditors.
This morning’s Financial Times raises the spectre of some unsecured creditors suing IBRC for having deliberately dissipated its assets. After all, it handed over €27.7bn of promissory notes to the Central Bank of Ireland in return for bonds worth €25bn. That is apparently why most of the bank’s capital base has been wiped out, but now, unsecured creditors might get bolshie and sue IBRC and perhaps the Minister for Finance, Ireland and the Attorney General over the IBRC liquidation.
Project Red, the name given to the secret plans to liquidate IBRC, despite being the subject of intensive planning for over six months, is beginning to look raggedy with a mounting number of loose threads.
McCann Fitzgerald was asked for comment on the reported sum owing of €8m and about claims of work withheld from IBRC, but at time of writing, there has not been any response.