Fianna Fáil has demanded an investigation into the mis-selling of financial products to farmers and self-employed workers.   The party’s Spokesperson on Agriculture Michael Moynihan has said thousands of farmers around the country have been sold Payment Protection Insurance on loans that they will never be eligible to claim.
Deputy Moynihan has written to the Financial Ombudsman to call for an immediate investigation and to demand that this bogus insurance money is urgently repaid to the thousands of people affected.  Deputy Moynihan has also asked the Financial Ombudsman to consider a compensation package for those farmers and self employed workers who have been diligently paying Payment Protection Insurance on their loans over an extended period, under the legitimate expectation that they would be able to draw this down if required.
The Cork North West TD explained, “It is appalling that so many self employed workers, including farmers,  were sold Payment Protection Insurance on loans they took out for machinery or stock and are now finding out that it is effectively useless.  I have spoken to a number of these people who are now in financial difficulty and have tried to claim on this insurance only to be told that they are not entitled to it.  This is despite the fact that they have paid extra on their loan repayments for months, and in some cases years, in order to have this safety-net if they ever needed it.
“This money must be repaid to these customers immediately.  The Financial Ombudsman must also come to an arrangement on some form of compensation for these customers who were misled by their banks.
“I have also asked the Financial Ombudsman for a full investigation into how this could have happened and to set out what measures are required to ensure that it can never happen again. All lenders must examine their files to ensure that no customer continues to pay Payment Protection Insurance that they will never be able to claim.
“It is difficult enough for smaller farmers and self employed workers to make ends meet at this time without them being mis-sold improper financial products. This is a serious injustice and must be addressed by the authorities immediately,” said Deputy Moynihan.