Bank of Ireland Divests (Sells) 5 Billion Euros of Loans

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Bank of Ireland said it has sold or accepted repayment of 5 billion euros (4.4 billion pounds) of loans in the United States, Britain, Europe and the Middle East at a discount of around 9 percent, putting it on track meet its targets under an EU-IMF bailout.

Ireland’s government pledged to radically shrink its domestic banking sector after a disastrous binge on property loans, and Bank of Ireland, the country’s largest lender, is to sell 10 billion euros in loans and accept repayment of another 20 billion euros worth by the end of 2013.

Bank of Ireland, the only domestic lender to avoid falling into state control, said it had raised 4.54 billion euros from the sale of the loan books, a higher price than expected, meaning there was no impact on its core tier one ratio.

Bank of Ireland had a pro forma core tier one ratio, a key measure of financial strength, of 15.4 percent at the end of June.

Ireland’s banks need to shrink their loan books to reduce their dependence on emergency funding from the European Central Bank and the Irish central bank, which at the end of September stood at 153.6 billion euros.

Bank of Ireland needs to dispose of another 5 billion euros worth of loans by the end of 2013, and it said it was making good progress.

It said it was in advanced talks with potential purchasers of project finance loans.

The loans already sold include a U.S. commercial real estate portfolio valued at $1.13 billion, some 1.33 billion pounds of UK commercial property loans sold to Kennedy Wilson and institutional partners for 1.07 billion pounds, and 1.23 billion pounds of British residential mortgages sold to a unit of Britain’s Nationwide Building Society for 1.13 billion pounds.

Bank of Ireland also sold a portfolio of project finance loans with total commitments of 670 million euros to GE Energy Financial Services . The loans relate to a portfolio of energy assets across North America, the UK, continental Europe and the Middle East.

Source: http://www.reuters.com

Ben Gilroy on Prime Time

This is one of the earliest interviews with Ben Gilroy before Constitution Halts Sheriff went viral on the internet. In this interview, which occurred on RTÉ’s Prime Time, Ben discusses the lack of action by the current government in dealing with the astronomical number of home owners who are currently in negative equity. These people see absolutely no tangible route out of this problem.

Ben covers the possibility of abandoning his current house and renting somewhere affordable. He also covers the suggestion of renting his own house out, or simple passing the keys over to the bank and allowing them to sell it. As Ben states in the video, this is simply kicking the can down the road. What are people in Ben Gilroy’s circumstances to do when they reach retirement age, and are no longer able to afford to rent a property?

This video is significant to People For Economic Justice as it gives a little insight into what caused Ben Gilroy to start questioning the legal system. His housing situation made him realise that there must be a better way to run a country and a banking system so that this sort of thing can’t happen. Constraints can surely also be put in place, so that this can be done without racking up massive amounts of odious debt. During his studies Ben came across information which he uses to halt Sheriffs and Receivers across the country keeping people in their homes.

In the coming months we will be showing more and more videos of Ben Gilroy and People For Economic Justice using nothing more than their rights as Irish Citizens, under the Irish Constitution. They will keep people in their homes, despite massive strain from banks and sheriff’s to get them out. They will keep legitimate small business owners on their premises, where they can continue their life’s work, and renegotiate their repayments with the banks. This is surely preferable to being forced out onto the street, watching their businesses be stripped down and sold to the highest bidder. The irony of this solution being, that the banks seem to prefer that it very rarely actually covers the debt.