There are a number of regulatory measures which apply to the provision of new residential mortgage credit, including bridging finance for such a purpose, to consumers. These include the European Union (Consumer Mortgage Credit Agreements) Regulations 2016 and the Central Bank Consumer Protection Code (2012). These measures place a number of obligations on lenders in relation to the provision of residential mortgage credit including the requirement to:
- where relevant, obtain relevant information from the borrower on his/her needs and objectives, personal circumstances and financial situation;
- assess the affordability of credit and the suitability of a product or service based on the individual circumstances of the borrower;
- provide credit only where the creditworthiness assessment indicates that the borrower is likely to meet his/her obligations in the manner required under the credit agreement.
However, within the applicable regulatory framework, it remains a matter for each lender to set its own credit policies and to make its own lending decisions on applications for mortgage or other credit. Neither the Minister for Finance nor the Central Bank of Ireland, has a role in such commercial decisions made by lenders. However, I have been informed by the covered banks that, while in general they do not see a strong demand for residential bridging finance, they will consider and assess such applications in accordance with their own credit policies.