Sinn Féin’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty T.D. has stated that the Central Bank in failing to stand up to moneylenders.
Deputy Doherty made the comments as the representatives of the Central bank appeared before the Oireachtas Finance Committee today.
“It beggars belief that the Central Bank is tolerating moneylenders charging up to 287% APR. That means a €500 loan will cost €966 over 12 months.
“The Consumer Credit Act is being ignored by unscrupulous moneylenders and the Central Bank is letting them get away with it.
“It says a lot about the regulation of the financial sector in this state when this is allowed to happen to hard pressed families who, when failed by the state, turned to their last resort.
“The message is – You can do what you want if you are a lender. However, if you are a family struggling to pay bills then you there to be exploited.
“It is outrageous that the Central Bank has not stepped in.”
The committee heard how 47% of borrowers have had loans with moneylenders for up to 5 years and another 38% have loans for over 5 years.
Deputy Doherty continued:
“They are trapped into the moneylender’s game. And
that game leads to poverty.
“I was amazed that some government TDs used the perverse argument that the Credit Unions are to blame. Another described the interest rates being charged as ‘pornographic’.
“These government representatives are now crying crocodile tears. However, in 2012 they voted against Sinn Féin’s Bill that would have capped interest rates.
“This would have some to protecting borrowers from the exploitation to which they have been exposed since.”