Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

13th August 2018

Breathnach calls for a solution to the problem of distressed mortgages following this week’s sale by Ulster Bank of almost 5,200 loans to a ‘vulture fund’

– This follows last week’s sale of almost 11,000 Permanent TSB loans –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has again expressed his concern at the lack of regulation and accountability imposed on vulture funds following the announcement this week that Ulster Bank is to sell almost 5,200 non-performing mortgages to so-called vulture fund Cerberus for €1.4 billion. This follows the recent announcement that Permanent TSB has sold almost 11,000 loans to Start Mortgages, another one of the so-called “vulture funds”.

“The time has come for our Minister for Finance to stand firm with these banks. It is not good enough for him to say that his Department will have no interference with how banks conduct their business, when it is affecting our citizens, the tax-payers, in such a negative way, said Breathnach.

“This is a very distressing situation for those who are finding it impossible to agree long term restructuring arrangements with their banks, who instead are taking the easy option of selling those loan books on to third parties, to reduce their level of non-performing loans.”

“These vulture fund companies are beyond the reach of the Central Bank and have no interest in offering long term solutions to the borrowers. Fianna Fáil’s position is that banks should be working through their loan books in the normal way. This is of course not an easy task but it is the core business of a bank. The comments of the Head of Insolvency Service, Lorcan O’Connor recently that banks should have taken the opportunity to do more work on non-performing loans in recent years are spot on. Where loan sales occur, the party buying the loans needs to be fully regulated and accountable in the normal way.”

“I will say it again, I believe there is a simple solution to the problem. We need to introduce emergency legislation immediately which places an amnesty on the sale of distressed mortgages for six months and instructs all the lending agencies to afford the local authorities the first opportunity to purchase distressed loans to increase our housing stock. In this way, families could be allowed remain in their homes. It is a no-brainer. The Government needs to start listening,” concluded Breathnach.

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)

(T) 01 6183549 (Email)