Fianna Fáil calls for Government to act on sale of 20,000 PTSB mortgage loans

Fianna Fail have called on the government to enact as a "priority" proposed legislation to regulate vulture funds amid concerns over the sale of 20,000 PTSB mortgage loans, writes Juno McEnroe Political Correspondent

The opposition party is trying to stop the state-owned bank offloading the distressed loans, warning that an unregulated fund will make families “vulnerable” trying to recoup the debts.

Fianna Fail's finance spokesman Michael McGrath spoke with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe by phone this morning and the two agreed to meet later this week on the matter.

“If one person has their loan regulated by a full regulated financial institution and the other person has their loan regulated by an unregulated vulture fund, they are in a much more vulnerable position in practice," he said in Leinster House this morning.

He also called on PTSB to make a full statement over what it would do with the loans.

The Department of Finance say they cannot interfere with commercial banks and how they sell their loans, despite the fact that PTSB is 75% state-owned.

Mr McGrath says the PTSB loan sales could take months and that a Bill to regulate vulture funds, to be published today, must be enacted as a “priority”.

The Opposition party, who support Fine Gael in power, claim that the issue is part of the confidence and supply agreement and a promise to protect mortgage holders. He said:

“Next week this Bill will be the Fianna Fail's private member's Bill, so there will be a full debate and a vote if necessary. Beyond that we want enactment.”

The Fianna Fail frontbench meeting today is also expected to address the matter and discuss how far Fianna Fail may take the issue with the support pact and its demands with the government.

Mr McGrath noted this morning, speaking at Leinster House, that the Central Bank had also confirmed previously in 2015 that vulture funds should be regulated.

By Juno McEnroe
Political Correspondent

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