It is being reported (by eg Simon Carswell on the Irish Times website) that, in addition to the four-year fiscal framework, there will be an early resolution of the banking issues as part of the IMF/European deal.
De-leveraging the banks further through private sector deals for bank assets, including non-NAMA impaired assets, has long been an option, as argued here before. The tracker mortgages constitute an impaired (though performing) asset which can no longer be marked at par (as appears to have been the case) in computing the balance sheet hole if market disposal is contemplated. Carswell uses the phrase ‘heavy discounts’ and on the face of it the cost of funds, minus the c. 2% return on these mortgages, put them well under water. There are moving parts – the ECB funds are cheap, for example, and the replacement liabilities, and their cost, is unknown.
The banks wrote a very large piece of derivative business when they extended these mortgages and did not (or could not) hedge, so far as I can see. The risk is in the form of an uncovered exposure to an interest rate spread beyond their control. It looks as if this is about to be marked to market.