Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (157)

Clare Daly


157. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the action he has taken to deal with a bank (details supplied) selling mortgages to unregulated vulture funds against the wishes and without the consent of the mortgage holders; and if this constitutes a breach of the code of conduct. [7962/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As the Deputy may be aware, PTSB transacted two loan sales in 2018 as follows:

1. Project Glas in July; and

2. Project Glenbeigh in November

In the case of Project Glas, the portfolio of loans was sold to Start Mortgages. For Project Glenbeigh, PTSB confirmed that Pepper would take over servicing of loans within six months of the transaction being announced.

It is important to highlight that both Start Mortgages and Pepper are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. When dealing with borrowers, these firms are required to comply with the Consumer Protection Code (CPC) and the Code of Conduct for Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) when dealing with borrowers who are in arrears. In addition, Start Mortgages and Pepper have confirmed that any restructuring agreements in place with borrowers at the date of the respective transactions remain in place.

In early 2018, I asked the Central Bank to carry out a review of the CCMA to ensure it remains as effective as possible. The result of this review was published in October 2018 and it is very positive to note that the key findings included confirmation that, for borrowers who engaged with the process, the CCMA is working effectively as it is intended in the context of the sale of loans by regulated lenders.

In relation to borrower consent, the Deputy may be referring to the Central Bank of Ireland voluntary Code of Practice on the Transfer of Mortgages which dates from 1991. Since that date, certain financial markets have become more developed, including the securitisation market, with most mortgage loan agreements now including a clause that allows the original lender to sell the loan on to another firm.