Central Bank Vulture Funds Invitation Long Overdue

I welcome the opinion of the Governor of the Central Bank that regulated vulture funds accept an invitation from the Finance Committee to appear before it.

The various vulture funds who have bought residential and commercial loans from the banks have a duty to answer questions relating to their conduct in this State. The Finance Committee has issued various invitations to these companies to appear before it, with most refusing the invitation.

Many homeowners who had their mortgages sold on were denied any information as to which company effectively held the deeds to their family home. There can be no more serious a threat to the stability and well-being of a family than not knowing their fate.

In the past few years banks have sold on the debts and mortgages of homeowners, small businesses and farmers to unregulated vulture funds, there is still no regulation in place for the actual owners of the credit.  The companies they appoint to deal with consumers are regulated but this approach has been criticised by the Central Bank and has proven inadequate as Sinn Féin said it would.  We have tabled the legislation in the Dail to provide such regulation.

As a Committee we have been pressuring both the regulators and the lenders alike to reveal full details of the banking crisis and to ensure that it never happens again.  This is only part of the story, however. We need to look at how those institutions which have taken loans off the pillar banks are now treating citizens in 2018.

To date most vulture funds have refused to appear before the Committee stating that the company is in compliance with Central Bank codes and acts. If this is so they should have no difficulty appearing before Oireachtas members, many of whom have heard first hand from constituents of a very different culture among these vulture funds. I, and my Sinn Féin colleague Pearse Doherty, will be maintaining pressure in the committee to ensure that they are held accountable.”