Northern Ireland

Nama deal: Politicians' inquiry plea over Frank Cushnahan 'fixer fee' claims

Frank Cushnahan Image copyright Ex BBC Newsline
Image caption Former banker Frank Cushnahan was a Nama Northern Ireland advisor from May 2010 until November 2013

Politicians have called for an inquiry into the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loan portfolio following revelations in a BBC Spotlight programme.

Businessman, Frank Cushnahan, who has been at the centre of the controversy, claimed in a covert recording made last year, that he was due to be paid a fixer fee in relation to the sale.

Mr Cushnahan was an adviser to Nama.

He has consistently denied he was due to receive money.

Nama NI deal jargon buster

Timeline of Nama's NI property deal

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said there should be a Commission of Investigation held in the Republic of Ireland while Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long has called for an independent investigation.

Nama is the Republic of Ireland's "bad bank".

It sold its entire Northern Ireland loan portfolio to the Cerberus investment fund in 2014.

Mr Cushnahan, a former banker, was appointed to Nama's Northern Ireland advisory committee by the DUP.

Unknown to Nama he began talking to a US investment fund, Pimco, who were interested in buying the entire Northern Ireland portfolio.

Prior to leaving his post at Nama, Mr Cushnahan attended meetings with Pimco as it prepared to mount a bid.

He was due to be paid £5m if the bid succeeded - but it collapsed when Nama learned of Mr Cushnahan's role.

Another company called Cerberus then bought the loan portfolio for more than £1bn.

Nama had received assurances that no one connected with Nama (which would include Mr Cushnahan) was to benefit from that deal.

However, in a covert recording, Mr Cushnahan discusses work he did with a Belfast solicitor Ian Coulter.

He said: "You know when I was working on that Cerberus thing to get that thing out, he worked with me to get that. And basically all the work was done by me and him."

He goes on to say his role was deliberately hidden because of Nama's objections.

Cerberus has previously stated that it has "never employed, paid or sought advice from Frank Cushnahan in relation to our purchase of the Project Eagle portfolio or any other activity."

Nama said it had dealt with the issue "very extensively over the past 12 months" and had nothing further to add at this time.

More on this story