Sinn Féin - On Your Side

EU failing to recognise adverse effects of Mortgage Credit Directive

16 June, 2016 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has slammed a response from the European Commission regarding the impact of the Mortgage Credit Directive on potential home buyers across the island of Ireland.

MEP for the North of Ireland, Ms Anderson stated:

“Following the Mortgage Credit Directive introduced on 21 March 2016, I have been contacted by numerous concerned constituents who work in the 26 counties, but are seeking to acquire mortgages in the 6 counties and are being refused a mortgage application. Similarly, Irish citizens who are hoping to return home to Ireland and purchase a home are also being denied a mortgage.

“I wrote to the European Commission on this matter, requesting clarification on how these constituents and others across the island of Ireland may be affected and what I received was typical of the Commission - a vague response, with no answers, clarification or commitment.

“The Commission stated that The Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) does not prevent the practice of people who are paid in euro but reside in a non-Eurozone jurisdiction being granted mortgages, which we were already aware of.

“As usual, the Commission prevaricated and fudged by responding to a question that was not being posed.

“The fact of the matter, is that many banks across the North of Ireland are already refusing to lend due to the number of different administrative hurdles that now need to be surmounted due to unforeseen consequences of the Mortgage Credit Directive. The reality on the ground is if the banks do not feel it’s profitable to lend, then they simply refuse to approve a mortgage application.

The Commission went on to state:

“There are no statistics, yet available, as to whether this will affect bank lending“

“This is clearly abdicating any responsibility and leaving the ordinary citizen with very little recourse when refused a mortgage. It is quite apparent that the Directive needs to be changed in order to reduce the administrative burden of providing foreign currency mortgages to make such loans commercially viable.

Ms Anderson concluded:

“Purchasing a property is often a gruelling process and it’s commonly regarded as among one of the most stressful events that a person encounters in modern life.

“It’s simply unacceptable, that the Commission are failing to recognise the adverse effects of what should have been a positive Directive.

“If this is proving problematic now, and people are being denied the possibility of buying their home because of an artificial border, I dread to think what could happen in the case of a Brexit, following the referendum on June 23rd.

“This is another, in a long list of serious "what if" questions that needs answered, yet nobody is claiming the responsibility to do so.


Connect with Sinn Féin