The Government has published amendments to the National Asset Management Agency legislation this evening.

The measures will allow the agency purchase all AIB and Bank of Ireland land and development loans. The previous threshold was all loans in excess of €20m.

Up to 20,000 of these smaller loans will move across to NAMA under this new arrangement.

The Government said that to ensure the speedy transfer of so many loans, the NAMA (Amendment) Bill 2011 will allow the agency to buy them on an expedited basis under the new provisions.

The changes were agreed as part of the EU/IMF bailout and are due to be implemented in the first quarter of 2011 under the programme.

The discounts to be applied by NAMA will be based on previous transfers to date depending on where they are and the extent to which the development of that land has been completed.

This means that different discounts may apply depending on whether the land is located in Ireland, Northern Ireland or the UK.

The bill also says that banks will be obliged to give NAMA accurate details of the sub €20m land and development loans they hold.

If this is breached a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in jail could be imposed.

There will also be a change to the mix of NAMA bonds and more risky subordinated bonds being paid to the banks for the loans up to €20m in value.

Until now 95% of the bonds have been NAMA bonds and the balance more risky subordinated bonds, which could only be cashed in if the new agency ultimately makes a profit.

Under the amendment only 90.1% would be NAMA bonds.

This would mean the two banks would share a higher level of losses if NAMA ultimately losses money.