November 27, 2020
No Central Bank enforcement actions for Code of Conduct of Mortgage Arrears breaches in past five years – Pearse Doherty TD

Pearse DohertySinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has expressed disbelief that the Central Bank have failed to take a single enforcement action against banks in the past five years for breaches of the Code of Conduct of Mortgage Arrears.

Teachta Doherty said that the information, released to him through a reply to a parliamentary question, defied credulity and called on the Central Bank to explain the lack of enforcement actions.

Teachta Doherty said:

“It has been revealed by a reply I received to a parliamentary question I put to the Minister for Finance that the Central Bank have failed to take one single enforcement action in the past five years for breaches of the Code of Conduct for Mortgage Arrears.

“The CCMA came into effect in July 2013 and was issued under Section 117 of the Central Bank Act 1989.

“It was introduced to protect borrowers and ensure that banks deal with borrowers sympathetically and positively.

“The Code is not a set of guidelines for the banks. They are required to comply with it as a matter of law.

“The Central Bank was given the power to hand out sanctions where banks breach the Code of Conduct of Mortgage Arrears. But not one enforcement action has been taken since 2016.

“It is not credible that not one bank has breached the Code on any occasion in the past five years.

“I have spoken to countless borrowers who have been denied Alternative Repayment Arrangements from their lenders in the past two months alone, despite losing their jobs as a result of the pandemic.

“The Central Bank have questions to answer, and I have written to the Governor to ask what systems they have in place to identify breaches of the Code by banks.

“We are in an economic crisis with historic job losses. With mortgage arrears inevitable, the Irish people need to have confidence that the Central Bank will do its job.”

Response to Parliamentary Question