NAMA Chief Executive Brendan McDonagh has said that a third of the loans transferred to the Agency were performing, or being repaid in some form, rather than the previous estimate of 40%.

Speaking before an Oireachtas Committee, Mr McDonagh said NAMA may face the prospect of deciding to knock down unfinished building projects, if it is commercially viable to do so.

He told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance and Public Service that the Agency would take a 'strictly commercial view' of unfinished building projects and would not give funding to complete them for the sake of it.

Mr McDonagh said NAMA would 'inevitably' be faced with the prospect of knocking down certain developments. He said the Agency was now reviewing the cost of completing some projects.

He told the committee NAMA has already had face-to-face meetings with borrowers whose loans had been transferred from the banks.

Mr McDonagh also said he wanted to dispel any notion that NAMA is a bailout for bankers.

He said that the protection of the taxpayer was foremost in the minds of those working in NAMA and said developers will not be allowed to walk away from their responsibilities.

Mr McDonagh also said that the Agency intends to pay €100m on professional services for the first year of operation. He said it had been estimated that €160m would be spent in the first 12 months.

After the transfer of the first batch of loans, for which NAMA is paying €8.5bn for loans with an original value of €16bn, Mr McDonagh said work was now under way on the transfer of the next batch of loans, worth €13bn.

Those loans are due to be transferred in the second quarter of this year.

He said he hoped to have all loans from three of the five financial institutions completed by the third quarter of the year.

Fine Gael Finance Spokesman Richard Bruton said he was concerned that the Agency had planned to spend €2.4bn on professional services over ten years.

He also asked why there was a delay in transferring loans from Anglo Irish Bank into NAMA.

Mr McDonagh said it is expected that all loans from three of the five covered institutions will be completed by the end of this year and said the start of the Anglo loans will start transferring in the next 10 days.

The head of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), John Corrigan, was also before the committee.