PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has signed the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Bill 2013 this morning at Áras an Uachtaráin.
The Bill, which was voted on by TDs in an emergency late-sitting last night moves to immediately liquidate the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), the combined former Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan said yesterday that it was necessary to approve the legislation immediately as the plan to scrap IBRC’s promissory notes was leaked to foreign media.
In the Dáil, the bill was approved at 3am with 113 votes to 35. It then went a vote in the Seanad, where it was passed by 38 votes to six.
- As it happened: Dáil approves Bill to liquidate IBRC
President Higgins interrupted his official visit to Rome to return home so that he would be available to sign the Bill into law. He will be returning to Italy later this morning to complete his programme of engagements.
The legislation will now see the special liquidator, KPMG, start to sell off all of IBRC’s assets and liabilities. The bulk of this will go to NAMA, which will act as a kind of purchaser ‘of last resort’ if no other parties wish to buy each asset.
There are concerns about IBRC’s workforce of 800 people which the Bill will essentially lay off, though Finance Minister Michael Noonan said last night that he understood most staff would be immediately rehired by the liquidators, or by NAMA when it takes on IBRC’s assets.
The intention of this bill is that the promissory notes – which currently require an annual repayment of €3.06 billion, due at the end of March – will be replaced with NAMA-issued bonds, which are covered by a government guarantee.
The repayment of the promissory notes has been a hot topic recently with the government in discussions with the European Central Bank (ECB) to work out a deal. ECB approval for last night’s legislation could come later today when its governing board meets in Frankfurt.