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‘Consumers’ voices’ in tracker mortgage scandal to be kept secret from consumers – Doherty

7 April, 2017 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said it is farcical that the ‘consumers’ voices’ that have apparently been appointed by each lender as part of their tracker mortgage investigation are to be kept secret from the public including victims who they are supposed to be representing.

Deputy Doherty received confirmation that the Central Bank will not publish the names of the people involved in a parliamentary reply.

The Donegal TD said:

“I am amazed at the reply I received to my straight forward asking who are the so called ‘consumers’ voices’ that were appointed by each lender supposedly to represent the views of consumers and the victims of the tracker scandal. The Central Bank have told the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan that they can’t divulge the names of the ‘voices’. That is a farcical situation.

“The people they are meant to be representing were, to my knowledge, totally unaware of the existence of these ‘voices’ that are meant to be speaking on their behalf.  We don’t know who these people are and we have no idea what they are doing. It begs the obvious questions of what the point of a secret consumer’s voice is.

“Likewise, the Minister confirmed to me that the Central Bank can’t divulge the names of the external independent third parties that are supposed to oversee each lender’s progress on this issue. We know from past experience how the network of accounting/legal bodies in this State are intertwined so closely that genuine independence is difficult to achieve. When we can’t even find out who these parties are how can we judge their independence?

“I also received replies in which the Central Bank refuses to disclose how many lenders have notified them of missing documents relating to the investigation or whether any lenders have attempted to invoke the Statute of Limitations as an excuse. Taken together, these replies amount to a very disheartening stance from the Central Bank for those of us who don’t want to see this investigation become another behind closed doors investigation. That would serve only the interest of the banks, not the victims.” 

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