Left-Wing Coalition Calls On Gov’t To Publish Sareb’s Housing Inventory

26 January 2015 – El Economista

The left-wing collation (IU-ICV-CHA) has submitted a non-binding proposal criticising the lack of transparency surrounding the Asset Management Company for Bank Restructuring (Sareb) and calling on the Government to publish the housing inventory of the so-called ‘bad bank’, together with its accounting valuation within a maximum period of three months.

The initiative, to which Europa Press has had access, and which will be debated in a plenary session in the Lower House of Congress, criticises the activity of the Company saying it is “completely unknown” despite claims that “its core values are integrity, transparency and civic engagement”.

None of the parliamentary groups or town halls are able to access information relating to Sareb’s inventory of land and housing; its sale transactions; the profile of its clients; or the mechanisms of control that are used “in the face of the eventual entry of speculative private investors, to avoid them purchasing a low cost without ensuring the free participation of potential public and social investors”.

DUTY OF CONFIDENTIALITY

In fact, every time the opposition parties in Congress ask the Executive for written information about any aspect relating to Sareb, the Ministry of the Economy argues that Sareb is a private company to which the duty of confidentiality applies and that legislation provides for the submission of half-yearly reports about its activity.

“We in the left-wing coaltion understand that Sareb has been established as a public safety-net to solve the viability of those private financial institutions that bore the greatest real estate risk, and therefore, we consider that the maximum transparency should be ensured to prevent another blank cheque in the banking sector and citizens having to bear the cost of the consequences of poor management once again”, it adds.

For this reason, the coalition is calling upon the Government to adopt whatever measures may be required to ensure that the activity of the ‘bad bank’ is ‘fully transparent’ and subject to the relevant political and administrative controls.

In particular, it is demanding that Sareb’s annual accounts be made public – which include an inventory of its assets (key characteristics of the properties, their location, etc.) together with their accounting valuations, and that all of this information be made available to the public administrations upon request.

Similarly, IU-ICV is calling for measures to “prevent that actions of the Company from being subject to speculative manoeuvres”, especially in the face of its doubts regarding the “independence” of the directors of the body, which have been called into question since its creation by the publication of cases of incompatibility.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

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