Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (187)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

187. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide an update on the talks regarding the restructuring of Permanent TSB with the EU Commission; and if he will outline the outstanding issues. [15313/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

A way forward for Permanent TSB was agreed with the Troika in April 2012 which envisaged it playing an important role in the future of Irish retail banking, being a more focused retail bank bringing an element of competition to the marketplace which has consolidated significantly since 2008.  In this regard Permanent TSB prepared a Restructuring Plan, which the Department of Finance submitted to the European Commission ("the Commission") in June 2012.  As requested by the Commission an updated version of the plan was submitted in  August 2013 which is broadly in line with the June 2012 plan. 

Discussions are ongoing at a technical level involving the Commission, the Department of Finance and Permanent TSB in relation to the plan, details of which are confidential between the parties and commercially sensitive. I do not intend to speculate on when that process might be concluded.

As the Deputy will be aware Permanent TSB is not alone in seeking such approval. I am also seeking approval from the European Commission for the Restructuring Plan submitted by AIB. While no plan has been approved, Permanent TSB has made significant progress in delivering key elements of the Restructuring Plan submitted over the last year and the business is being managed structurally in the way envisaged in the plan. Permanent TSB continues to work to enhance the value of our investments through the continued delivery of the Restructuring Plan, which will, if delivered, provide the State with more optionality regarding the future structure of Permanent TSB. During 2013 Permanent TSB grew its presence and activity in the retail market in general and in the current account and deposit markets in particular, as well as in mortgages and term lending; and it launched several new products during the year. I am advised that Permanent TSB paid out over €200m in mortgage lending in 2013 and that it had a market share of retail deposits of c 13%.   As a result of the progress made during 2013 Permanent TSB is now a genuine and important competitor in the retail banking market.

Permanent TSB has also made progress in relation to managing its portfolio of mortgages in arrears and has created a dedicated team to deal with those customers and to roll out various solutions to them. I am advised by Permanent TSB that during 2013 it made approximately 18,000 offers of long term sustainable solutions to customers in arrears or having difficulty with their mortgage repayments.

The current strategy is for Permanent TSB to be an independent bank, competing within targeted segments of the retail banking market, and I will continue to support the board and management in the delivery of that strategy.