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Government blew golden opportunity for greater competition in mortgage market - Doherty

2 April, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the government, despite its insistence that competition is the answer to the rip off mortgage market, blew a golden opportunity to facilitate greater competition. Deputy Doherty said that the sale of the ICS building society platform at Bank of Ireland last June to a company which specialises in buy-to-lets represented a golden opportunity to facilitate greater competition which the government blew. 

Deputy Doherty said: 

“During the legislation required to facilitate the sale of the ICS Building Society the Minister was adamant that this was about bringing some much needed competition to the mortgage market. A ready-made building society platform with the potential to bring immediate competition to the market was instead sold off to a company looking to capitalise on buy to lets.” 

“I raised this issue with the Minister and the time of the sale and he stated that he was confident that ‘they will obviously increase competition’. There may be some marginal benefits to the sale of a Building Society by the State to a company, Dilosk, specialising in buy to lets but the facts are on the ground show that that competition has had no effect on interest rates.”

“Indeed at no point on the Dilosk website does it actually show that they offer new mortgages at this point. It would appear that, as of now, they are simply managing the €223m of mortgages that was transferred to them. They also state they are ‘seeking to acquire performing secondary portfolios of residential mortgage loans to complement its new mortgage origination’- another strategy that will do nothing to increase competition for current mortgage holders or first time buyers.”

“Put simply when the opportunity existed for this government to facilitate greater competition in the mortgage market it blew it.” 

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