Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said Minister Michael Noonan is washing his hands of the banks’ policy of legal actions against homeowners.
Deputy Doherty was speaking after challenging Minister Noonan in the Dáil today.
“I am bitterly disappointed that Minister Noonan has expressed his satisfaction that the banks are meeting the Central Banks’ resolution targets. When I put it to him that the banks are only meeting those targets through wholesale legal actions he did not change his tune.
“Today in the Committee Ulster Bank defended its use of legal proceedings in over 4,000 cases which make up almost half of their proposals under the targets set by Minister Noonan and the Central Bank. They know they can get away with this because of Minister Noonan’s Pontius Pilate attitude. I expect the three other main banks will tell the same tale tomorrow and Thursday.
“The latest data from the banks shows that six years into this crisis the banks have only made a sustainable offer to one third of mortgage holders in distress when legal threats are excluded.
“Minister Noonan has stated on numerous occasions that he does not believe that legal letters constitute a sustainable solution. He has said he has communicated this assertion to the banks yet he is hiding behind the Central Bank who are accepting the banks’ figures including legal letters and removal of people from their home as sustainable solutions.
“It is not good enough the Minister to hide behind the Central Bank in the midst of a mortgage arrears crisis. Ministers should lead and not hide behind the Central Bank or civil servants.”