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Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 16 December 2021

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Ceisteanna (168)

Rose Conway-Walsh

Ceist:

168. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Finance the percentage of the 2% of primary home mortgages that are provided without the requirement for mortgage protection insurance that were given an exemption either specifically due to suffering from an eating disorder or under the exemption of section 126 of Consumer Credit Act 1995 given that this is the only exemption that could cover a mortgage applicant with an eating disorder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62349/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As referred to in my previous answer of 16 November last, it was estimated that on an annual basis only 0.05% of mortgage applications were refused due to the fact that the applicant did not put in place an acceptable policy of mortgage insurance and that on an annual basis around 2% of primary home mortgages were provided without the requirement for mortgage protection insurance. My Department does not have any additional or more detailed information on this specific data.

However, more generally the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) has indicated that financial institutions always seek to ensure the right outcome for the customer by taking all aspects of the specific mortgage application into consideration and, in reviewing any case where an exemption to the requirement to arrange mortgage protection insurance is sought, lenders will engage closely with each customer on a case-by-case basis to understand the credit and other risks which may arise in each individual case. Of most concern in such cases is understanding if any surviving party to the mortgage would have the ability to repay the facility in the event of the death of the uninsured party. There are situations where it is deemed in the customer’s best interest to waive the requirement and others where it is deemed not to be in the customer’s best interest to waive the requirement for mortgage protection. This is likely to be particularly relevant where the mortgage is on the family home or the primary residence of the customer. Also it should be noted that, as customers typically arrange mortgage protection insurance through a third-party insurance company, lenders are often unaware of the specific reasons why the third-party insurance company has declined mortgage protection cover and therefore this is not a factor included in consideration when deciding on a waiver request.  

Nevertheless, it should also be noted that if any person is not satisfied with the way a regulated mortgage provider or insurance provider has dealt with them in relation to an application for a mortgage or mortgage protection insurance, the consumer can complain directly to the regulated entity. If they are not satisfied with the response from the regulated entity, the response to their complaint from the regulated entity is required to include details for the borrower on how to refer their complaint to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman who, if a valid complaint is made, will independently consider the matter. 

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