Doherty welcomes Central Bank move to reveal mortgage rules data
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has welcomed confirmation he has received from Finance Minister Michael Noonan that the Central Bank will later this month release aggregated data showing how much of the potential 35% leeway the banks are using under the new mortgage rules.
Deputy Doherty said:
“This is very welcome news from the Minister that, after my intervention, the Central Bank are moving to release its information showing how much leeway the banks are using. This is very importance because while it is currently looking for submissions on the effect of the rules, the Central Bank has until now refused to release this information.
“Through interaction with the Central Bank and Minister I have argued that seeking submissions while not releasing this very important piece of evidence makes no sense. There is a national debate about these rules with many commentators jumping to conclusions without any idea of what use of the leeway the banks are using.
“The only evidence we have on this issue is information provided to me in parliamentary replies by Permanent TSB which shows they used only 11% of the permitted 35% in 2015. If that figure proves to be typical of the entire sector then a reappraisal of where the real lending obstacles are would have to take place.
“I look forward to seeing the data, albeit in aggregated format, so that it can add to the public debate. These rules are controversial but my party has always maintained that they are necessary. It is concerning therefore to read that the government is set on possibly undermining them with tax plans or top up schemes before we even know if the rules are the actual cause of the difficulties facing some people trying to buy.”