Doherty welcomes Central Bank of Ireland move to make banks reveal confidentiality letters
Sinn Féin finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, has today welcome the Central Bank of Ireland's decision to request copies of the confidentiality letters lenders made borrowers sign when receiving restructures.
Doherty published a confidential non-disclosure document used by AIB to gag borrowers in the buy-to-let market, last March.
Deputy Doherty said:
"This is a welcome development from the Central Bank, though they stop short of saying they will end the practice.
“In March I published one of these confidential documents, finally lifting the lid on the bank’s veil of secrecy on mortgage deals within the buy-to-let sector.
“We have been aware that banks are restructuring mortgages, but that it is arbitrary and they try to keep the details hidden.
“There are almost 200,000 households in mortgage distress, with the number growing.We will know shortly if the banks are meeting the targets set for them to address this crisis and also how they intend to do so - whether through their preferred too of repossession, or through a much fairer process of restructuring.
“But AIB in this instance has been doing deals, while forcing silence on the people in receipt of them.
“This can be seen in the first clause of their non disclosure agreement which states the borrower must not… ‘disclose to any third party the fact that negotiations are taking place between the Bank and ourselves and in the event that an agreement is reached between the Bank and ourselves to restructure our facilities, not to disclose to, or use for the benefit of, any third party the fact that such agreement may have been made nor to make known any details or information in any form…’
"The document contains a lot of threatening language and contains an indefinite clause that prevents the borrower from ever talking about the deal.
“This practice has brought unfairness to dealing with the crisis and added to the stress and worry of those who have had to deal with the banks. It must end.”