Responding to Permanent TSB’s statement concerning its planned loan portfolio sale, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath said ‘those who own your loan – whether it is a mortgage, a farm loan or an SME loan – should be properly regulated and accountable.

“It is not a tenable position that the organisation controlling your loan and making all the important decisions concerning it, is allowed to be beyond the reach of the Central Bank. The half-way house arrangement introduced in 2015 is not sufficient and does expose borrowers to additional risk, particularly borrowers in distress.

“It is a simple truth that these so called vulture funds have no interest in entering into long term restructuring arrangements in relation to your loan. In fact, they are straight up about the fact that they do not offer these solutions. That is because they have a different business model and they have no interest in working out a loan book over a long time horizon.

“Fianna Fáil’s position is that banks should be working through their loan books in the normal way. This is of course not an easy task but it is the core business of a bank. The comments of the Head of Insolvency Service, Lorcan O’Connor that banks should have taken the opportunity to do more work on non-performing loans in recent years are spot on. Where loan sales occur, the party buying the loans needs to be fully regulated and accountable in the normal way.

“It should not go unnoticed that the vulture funds have nothing but contempt for the Oireachtas. I have been critical of banks on many issues, but they come before the Oireachtas Finance Committee on a regular basis and are questioned for hours. It says a lot that every single vulture fund invited to come before the Finance Committee declined the invitation, some didn’t even bother to reply,” concluded McGrath.