Finance Minister Michael Noonan has confirmed that the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) was involved in over 800 legal cases when it was put into liquidation.
In a series of written Dáil responses on the liquidation on the former Anglo Irish Bank in February, Mr Noonan said 120 cases were being taken against IBRC at the time of liquidation, with the bank taking 720 legal cases against a variety of defendants.
In response to queries placed by Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, Mr Noonan said the legal cases taken by the IBRC were being taken against a variety of defendants but primarily against borrowers, former staff and former professional advisors.
Mr Noonan said: “Due to commercial confidentiality and sensitivities, the special liquidators are unable to disclose the amounts involved and the financial provisions in place for legal cases.”
Mr Doherty said last night the revelation that the IBRC was involved in 840 legal cases at the time of liquidation only serves to underline how unclear the final cost of the IBRC liquidation will be: “The value of the IBRC’s asset book is still unknown and that means there is potentially a great cost that will end up once more being footed by the taxpayer.”
Those taking cases against the IBRC and winning in the courts may end up empty handed.
This follows Mr Noonan stating that the special liquidators have advised him that any awards obtained by parties who took legal action against the IBRC will be ranked as an unsecured creditor in the liquidation.
He said: “I am further advised that awards against the special liquidators will be treated as a cost of the liquidation and funded through the sale of the assets of IBRC.
“I am advised that court awards in favour of the special liquidator will become an asset of IBRC and will be distributed to the creditors subject to the normal legal priorities as set out in the Companies Acts.”
Asked by Mr Doherty the amount of unsecured creditors and the amount owed in professional fees on the date of the liquidation of IBRC, Mr Noonan said: “I have been advised the special liquidators are currently agreeing all the creditors’ claims and it is therefore too early in the liquidation to ascertain the level of unsecured creditors.
“The proceeds from the disposal of IBRC’s assets will be used to repay creditors in accordance with normal Companies Act priorities, and consequently preferred creditors will be paid first and then the debt which Nama has purchased from the Central Bank will be paid.
“If there are proceeds available after repayment in full of the Nama debt, these proceeds will be applied to remaining unsecured creditors.”
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