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Mortgage rules review being undermined by refusal to publish data on exceptions – Doherty

21 June, 2016 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the Central Bank’s review of the mortgage rules is being undermined by its refusal to publish data on how many exceptions the banks are granting under these rules. Deputy Doherty was speaking after a Dáil debate during which the government accepted that it would write to the Central Bank asking that publishes the figures.

He said:

“It is simply not good enough that the Central Bank is looking for evidence based submission while they sit on that evidence. It is equally unacceptable that the Minister for Finance is hiding behind the relationship agreements at State banks.  We need to know if the full scope for leeway under the rules is being utilised. The answer could drastically change the narrative around this issue.

“We need whether it is these rules which require a 20% deposit for non-first time buyers and apply a cap of three and half times a family’s income on a mortgage that are preventing young families and others who wish to buy a house from doing so or whether the banks are hiding behind these rules and simply not lending to some people. The Central Bank should respond positively to the government’s request while the Minister as shareholder at AIB and Permanent TSB should direct those banks to publish the figures.

“I have always supported the concept behind the rules and called for them to be monitored on a social level.  We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past and I believe these rules are meant in that spirit.

“If these figures are not released, I believe the public trust in this review will be undermined and rightly so.  Any debate about these rules should be well informed one. By cloistering away this data, the Minister and Central Bank are preventing a full debate about the real impact of these rules.” 

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