March 9, 2021
Business News

Government must stop facilitating the rip-off of Irish people by the banks – Wicklow TD

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has criticised the banks and the Government for loading mortgage-borrowers with additional debt.

In July the European Banking Authority confirmed that banks were not required to charge additional interest on COVID-19 mortgage breaks.

Since the March 18, nearly 86,000 mortgage-holders impacted by COVID-19 have taken payment breaks which will see additional interest charged by as much as several thousand euro over the lifetime of the loans.

Deputy Brady said:

“In July the European regulator confirmed that Irish banks were not required to charge borrowers additional interest on payment breaks taken due to COVID-19.

“In its report on the implementation of COVID-19 payment breaks, the European Banking Authority made clear that the deferral of payments with no interest charged for the period of deferral was allowed, and would not result in loans going into default.

“This has been clear for months, with the Spanish Government introducing legislation as early as March, which banned the charging of interest during COVID-19 mortgage breaks.

“The Government and Irish banks have taken a different approach, with 86,000 mortgage borrowers being charged thousands of euros in additional interest for mortgage breaks they have taken because of the COVID-19 crisis.

“In a meeting held on May 11 between the five retail banks, the Banking and Payments Federation, the Minister for Finance and then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a number of banks claimed that the regulator required them to charge interest during these payment breaks.

“This was not true.

“The continued rip-off of the Irish people by the very banks that we bailed out is a bitter pill to swallow. Unfortunately, the rip off is set to continue with new banking charges being imposed on customers.”

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