I am delighted that the banks and the building societies have taken an interest in supplying funds for house purchasers. But, as Senator Fallon said last week in the House, banks are now looking for business. We all know the detrimental effect this had on the farming community in the seventies when the banks had a lot of money available and people invested in farms and were not able to meet their commitments. I am afraid that could also happen in the housing sector and that people who make applications to the banks would be well received and given loans which may be beyond the ability of some to repay.
The fact that the Minister said that the banks can clear people within 48 hours worries me because, even though local authorities might have been slow, they were always very prudent and there is a value in that. Therefore, I would like the Minister to comment on how banks are giving loans to people and on ability to pay in future, because problems could arise and interest rates might not stay as they are at present. I hope they will decrease further. Nevertheless we have to take into account international events which have a bearing on interest rates in this country.