Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Questions (58)

Finian McGrath


58. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the Consumer Credit Act 1995, in particular Part 9 of this Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9059/16]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Section 129 of the Consumer Credit Act provides that a notice, in the form as prescribed in that Act, shall be contained on the front page of a housing loan agreement which falls within the scope of that Act.  Accordingly, it will be a requirement for relevant creditors to comply with the terms of section 129, along with the other relevant sections of the Consumer Credit Act.  However, as the Deputy will appreciate, it would not be appropriate for me as Minister for Finance to provide detailed advice or commentary to any third party on the interpretation of that section, or indeed of any other statutory provision or on the terms of any individual credit agreement to which I am not a party.  If an individual has a concern regarding a regulated financial service provider's compliance with the provisions of section 129 or with the terms of a credit contract such an entity has entered into, such a matter should be raised with the regulated institution in the first instance.  If the matter has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the person then the matter can be raised with the independent Financial Services Ombudsman.  Ultimately, of course, it is a matter for the Courts to interpret legislation and also to adjudicate on contractual disputes between the parties to a credit agreement.

However, the Deputy may also wish to note that, following the transposition of the Mortgage Credit Directive into Irish law by means of the European Union (Consumer Mortgage Credit Agreements) Regulations 2016 (SI 142/2016), in respect of new credit agreements which fall within the scope of those Regulations the provisions of section 129 of the Consumer Credit Act no longer apply.  Instead the detailed pre-contractual information which a creditor is now obliged to provide to a consumer borrower in respect of such credit agreements is set out in the European Standardised Information Sheet (ESIS) as provided for in Schedule 2 of those Regulations.  This ESIS document is a mandatory requirement of the Mortgage Credit Directive.  The Regulations provide that the ESIS shall be provided to the consumer at the binding offer of credit stage and shall be accompanied by a copy of the draft credit agreement.  The consumer will then have a thirty day reflection period to consider whether or not to accept the offer of credit.