Fine Gael TD for Wicklow and member of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, Simon Harris, has today (Thursday) said that legislation published by Fianna Fáil prompted by the sale of the Irish Nationwide loanbook is legally unsound and could leave the State open to significant costs.
“The Government is fully aware of the concerns of Irish Nationwide mortgage holders about the sale of the former bank’s loan book. However, their situation will not be helped by Fianna Fáil’s legislation, which is legally unsound and could leave the State open to legal action and compensation.
“Legitimate concerns centre on the fact that if the loan book is sold to a fund from outside the State, it is not automatically subject to the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA). However, this is unlikely, especially considering the fact that two mortgage books from other financial institutions have been sold to funds from outside the State, and both are adhering to the CCMA.
“The Special Liquidator, which was appointed by the Government to oversee the liquidation of the IBRC, is also overseeing the sale of the Irish Nationwide loan book. It must deliver the best return for the State, and therefore the taxpayer, something which would not be possible if Fianna Fáil’s legislation was implemented.
“Taxpayers have already had to pay far too much following the collapse of Irish Nationwide and Anglo Irish Bank. Implementing Fianna Fáil’s legislation could heap further costs at the feet of taxpayers, by leaving the Special Liquidator and the State open to legal challenge and compensation.
“Minister Noonan has given a commitment that his Department will bring forward a solution to this situation if needed. Despite what Fianna Fáil claims, Irish Nationwide mortgage holders are subject to the same safeguards as all other mortgage holders. As Fianna Fáil has said, the CCMA offers ‘vital protection’ to distressed homeowners. The Government is committed to ensuring this remains the case.
“Adopting Fianna Fáil’s legislation would be reckless and would not be in the best interest of the mortgage holders concerned, or taxpayers.”