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Vulture funds now acting with tacit approval of Government – Senator Conway-Walsh

14 August, 2018 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has said that the lack of Government action on the sale of home loans to vulture funds means that these funds are effectively acting with the tacit approval of the Government. 

Speaking following Ulster Bank announcing the sale of €1.4 billion of distressed Irish home loans to Cerberus, the Mayo-based Senator said:

"We must remember that these are not just financial packages that are being sold on but they are the biggest financial commitment of most people’s lives. 

"Homeowners who have had their mortgages sold on have rights which must be protected and it is the Government who should ensure that this happens.

"I am concerned that many buy-to-let properties were included in this latest sale which leaves those tenants in a very precarious position through no fault of their own.

"Together with my Sinn Féin colleague and fellow member of the Oireachtas Finance Committee Pearse Doherty TD, I have consistently requested for these vulture companies to attend the Committee and to answer questions. 

"We will again be asking for this to happen as soon as possible. While Ulster Bank say no performing loans are included this does not exclude the possibility that mortgages meeting their restructuring arrangement are included. This must be clarified immediately.

"Overnight thousands more Irish homeowners have been put into limbo. They are concerned and are looking for leadership from the Government to protect their rights. That leadership is simply not there. 

"This summer has seen sales of loans by Permanent TSB, KBC, Ulster Bank with little or no scrutiny from Government. The vulture funds have been given free reign by this Government. 

"Since 2014 over 15 billion of loans has been sold by Ulster Bank to foreign vulture funds. It must be remembered that these banks are partly in State ownership due to their own recklessness. 

"The ordinary citizen has already picked up the tab while the majority of those responsible avoided punishment. The Government need to tilt the balance back in favour of citizens and homeowners."

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