Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Banks refusal to accept mortgage moratorium unacceptable

10 February, 2009

Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has this afternoon has called on the government to rein in Ireland's two major banking institutions, AIB and Bank of Ireland, and ensure that both accept a two-year moratorium for mortgage defaulters.

The Louth TD said:

"If it is true that AIB and Bank of Ireland are refusing to agree to a moratorium for mortgage defaulters then the government will have no option but to lay their cards on the table with both institutions.

"It is time now for humility and honesty from both the banking sector and from Fianna Fáil. Ireland's international reputation within the global finance is on its knees. Why? Because of successive Fianna Fáil led government's refusal to properly regulate the financial sector despite its reckless lending practices and arguably corrupt practices which have been exposed over recent months.

"Neither the banking sector nor government have taken any action or indeed responsibility for the mistakes that have been made. By refusing to do so they are sending a message to the world that nothing has changed and it is business as usual.

"Both banks have yet to tell the Irish people the degree of bad debt we are taking on and one can only assume that the percentage of overall debt in both banks commercial property loan book is worryingly high. Sinn Féin has repeatedly expressed serious concern regarding the effectiveness of the government's recapitalisation plan. If this course of action fails to stimulate the desired economic activity by putting credit back into the economy the fall out for the tax payer and the future economy will be a very dark place indeed.

"It is my firm view and the view of Sinn Féin that the banks should not get a single penny until a moratorium for mortgage defaulters and credit for SMEs has been secured. In addition government must demand that banking executives pay back all of the bonuses they collected over the past three years along with at least 50% of the money they collected from their salaries.

"Given the government's role in the banking crisis and its inability to secure any real pay back for the taxpayer to date Sinn Féin believes the definitive solution to the current crisis is for the government to proceed with the nationalisation of our two major banking institutions the result of which should be an amalgamation of AIB and Bank of Ireland as a single public bank." ENDS

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