KPMG is not answering questions about its responsibilities to the National Lottery after a ball was drawn last weekend which showed both 6 and 9s on the same ball. The boo-boo has a potential maximum cost of €54,000 says An Post Lotto, though it’s not clear if checking the balls is part of KPMG’s job. Mind you, a €54,000 loss is as nothing compared to the bailout of AIB, Permanent TSB and Irish Nationwide which collectively have cost us €30bn to date. And who were the auditors?
Of course, it’s not the role of auditors to predict losses but there seems to have been widespread problems with loan security and documentation which would be expected to fall within the remit of auditors generally.
But Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has forgiven or overlooked KPMG’s past and appointed it as Special Liquidator to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation. Despite the Minister for Finance refusing to publish the so-called “requests for procurement” it seems that KPMG has now appointed companies to handle the independent valuations of IBRC’s loans – the two companies named by last weekend’s Sunday Business Post are UBS [CORRECTED 12th April 2012] and PwC. KPMG’s Kieran Wallace is quoted by the newspaper saying that he doesn’t expect the independent valuations to be below the book value of the loans in IBRC, after all these loans have been written down from €26bn to €16bn. This is the extract from the IBRC accounts for H1,2012
Minister Noonan has refused to release accounts for IBRC for the second half of 2012, so we don’t really know the book value after impairment at 31st December 2012.
Here is IBRC’s grading of the loans at 30th June 2012 (there is a discrepancy with the figures above which exclude loans held for sale).
Now, we don’t have an individual breakdown of the loans, but we do have a history of loan sales in Irish banks.
And you can see that some loans have sold for 90c in the euro and there was a recent sale of €400m of AIB loans for 80c in the euro, but these are loans which are performing with solid underlying properties and tenants. NAMA acquired its loans by reference to November 2009 property values and paid a 10% premium for so-called “Long term economic value” and NAMA paid just 43c in the euro back then. Two thirds of IBRC’s loans were non-performing at H1,2012 and Irish residential and commercial property has continued to decline since then – IBRC’s loans are mostly investment property related.
The assumption by Minister Noonan is that the Special Liquidator sells the loans at their written down value without suffering any further loss, and that NAMA picks up what is left, again without any additional loss. But experience of NAMA’s acquisitions and recent loan sales and the performance of the Irish property market would indicate that these €27bn of loans may only be worth €13-15bn today (that’s the guesstimate on here) which means that the State will need find €1-3bn of additional bank bailout in 2013, as presumably NAMA cannot illegally pay a premium for the loans above their market value without getting approval from the European Commission to provide state aid (which it is unlikely to get)
As for KPMG saying the loans are still worth 60c in the euro. Hopefully this is a marketing ploy to deter low-ball bids, because the likely loss is many times the €54,000 lost last weekend with gammy balls.
CoStar News has an informative piece this afternoon setting out in detail the current status of the valuations, and the expected sales process.