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Cross Border Mortgage problems must be resolved – Anderson MEP

29 April, 2016

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has voiced her concerns regarding the adverse impact the new EU Mortgage Credit Directive is having on citizens across the North of Ireland.

Ms Anderson stated:

"It has been brought to my attention through my colleague Phil Flanagan that residents of the North working in the South of Ireland are being refused Mortgages due to aspects of the new Mortgage Credit Directive.

"The directive has introduced a new category of “foreign currency loans” which means Northerner residents working in the South have their applications classified as a foreign currency mortgage due to the different currencies making approval extremely difficult.

"Ironically, the Directive was designed to ease the provision of mortgages across frontiers but in fact it's achieved the exact opposite.

"While the Directive does not prohibit lenders from providing a mortgage and some providers are continuing to do so, it is now a commercial decision based on the risks associated with currency fluctuation and a number of other cost factors as to whether or not a mortgage is approved.

"Many lenders are simply refusing to accept sterling applications because of the burdensome administrative procedures involved.  Irish people should not be punished or denied the opportunity to own their homes because of an artificial border.

"It is quite clear that Directive needs to be changed in order to address the unintentional obstacles it is creating for thousands of Irish cross-border workers.

“My Sinn Féin colleague Matt Carthy and myself have made a number of representations on the issue including writing to the European Commission raising the matter and requesting an urgent response.

"Sinn Féin will continue to work to ensure that all impediments to a fully functioning all-Ireland economy are broken down.

"We are the only party in Europe and in Ireland who are committed to delivering for the citizens of Ireland on an all-Ireland 32 county basis."

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