Anglo Irish Bank has confirmed that it gave property loans to developers without any valuation report whatsoever in some cases. In "exceptional circumstances" the bank's credit committee approved loans without the valuations, the bank told the Sunday Tribune. When asked if this was done for larger customers or where due diligence and finance had to be completed quickly, the bank said it could not elaborate on what constituted "exceptional circumstances".
Meanwhile, the Nama valuation for loans for Irish development is coming in significantly below expectations, with one source in the process saying they were coming in at 15c in the euro for debt on land in south Dublin. The valuations have cause consternation in the banks and Bank of Ireland has objected to 40% of the valuations undertaken in recent weeks by experts working for Nama, leading industry sources told the Sunday Tribune. The new valuations of properties heading into the government agency are lower than the bank's own surveys based on valuations that took place as recently as late last year.
The disputes go to the heart of the Nama process as the agency prepares to transfer the first of the discounted property loans in the coming weeks and to decide on the amount of the discount it will pay banks.
A spokesman for Bank of Ireland said it could not comment on matters involving Nama.
The Nama legislation allows for arbitration between the banks and Nama in the case of disputes about the value of the properties.
The government had said it expected that Nama would take control of about €16bn of commercial property loans from Bank of Ireland, including €10bn it loaned to developers to buy land banks.
AIB has called much of its regional lending staff to Dublin in the weeks since Christmas in a last-minute bid to complete documentation for loans scheduled to begin transferring to the toxic loans agency in the coming weeks.
It is understood the bank is anxious to update and clarify paperwork because Nama valuers will be applying bigger haircuts to loans that are not properly documented or that have questionable security.
The news comes after it emerged that weak collateral was becoming a serious problem for Nama and the banks, leading to widespread market speculation that the general haircut on the €80bn in development loans going to the agency would be closer to 40% than the 30% guided by the agency just a few weeks ago.