DONEGAL TD Deputy Pearse Doherty has responded to today’s roundtable meeting between the Minister for Finance, Central Bank, banks, vulture funds and other stakeholders.
On August 4, Doherty, Sinn Féin’s Finance spokesperson, called on the Minister for Finance to convene a meeting with the regulator and banking sector to chart a way forward for those struggling with soaring interest rates.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said he welcomes today’s meeting between the Minister for Finance and the banking sector.
“On August 4 I called on the Minister to convene a meeting with the Central Bank and banking industry to develop a strategy to support those facing soaring interest rates.
“But what is now needed are results.
“Households have faced a massive income shock as a result of soaring interest rates – with 1 in 5 households set to see their annual mortgage costs rise by more than €5,700.
“Households that had their mortgages sold off to vulture funds have seen their interest rates soar to as high as 10 percent, effectively becoming mortgage prisoners.
“These sales were supported by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and were carried out by many of the banks and vulture funds that attended today’s meeting.
“They have a responsibility to right this wrong and to provide a path for these households to return to the mainstream mortgage market.
“To date we have seen little evidence of households switching from vulture funds to mainstream banks,” said Deputy Doherty.
He said today’s meeting must result in real action rather than simply being a ‘box-ticking exercise’.
“How many households have tried to switch from vulture funds to mainstream lenders in the past 12 months?
“How many have been successful and how many have not?
“These are the questions the Central Bank and Government should be asking and acting upon.
“It is also incumbent on the Government to support households that are suffering from this income shock.
“Sinn Féin have called for the introduction of temporary and targeted mortgage interest relief to support struggling households.
“The Government cannot stand idly by,” said Teachta Doherty.