The new Central Bank code on mortgage arrears favours banks, and the balance of power still lies with the banks in regard to repossessions. This new code leaves families all over the country who are currently in arrears in huge difficulty. It is a charter for home repossessions. It favours the banks and there is no independent oversight. Will the Minister agree that banks, because of their impaired balance sheets and the pressures they are under in trying to address their mortgage loan books, will become very aggressive in repossessing homes? There is no independent oversight with regard to sustainable solutions and if there is an appeals process, it is within the bank. Will the Minister agree that for the 90,000 families who are in arrears of 90 days or more on their mortgages, this code of conduct holds no hope? Many of them are outside the protection of the code because they are outside the moratorium on repossessions. Banks will begin to get very aggressive from 1 October this year because of this new code of conduct. We said that independent oversight was needed. We believe this code offers nothing other than favouritism to the banks with regard to repossessions.
David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders' Organisation said it was reprehensible that the Central Bank was rolling over and giving the banks everything they wanted. FLAC has also said that it is disappointed with the new code, as it favours bankers. Everybody would like to see a situation in which there was independence, oversight and monitoring of fair and sustainable solutions. It has been said that families are still watching Sky and not paying their mortgages. We have situations in which families are now on the basic levels of sustenance with regard to food, shelter and heating. They cannot partake in society and they cannot provide for their families in a sustainable way. This code offers no solution and certainly no hope to the 90,000 families who are struggling on a daily basis to pay their mortgages and live with some decency and dignity.