Pascal Donohoe needs to declare his position on the sale of performing and non-performing loans by Permanent TSB.

Fianna Fail’s Finance spokesperson, Michael Mc Grath, says the silence from the Finance Minister is “deafening”.

“The Minister presents himself as a bystander in this whole process and conveniently doesn’t point out that the bank either has already or will formally ask him for his opinion,” he said.

“The silence from the Minister and the government is no longer sustainable. We know for a fact that 1,050 fully performing family home mortgages are in the portfolio lined up for sale.”

Earlier this week, PTSB announced it was selling 7,400 family home mortgages to Start Mortgages, owned by so-called vulture fund Lone Star.

It was later revealed that over 1,000 of the loans were performing with no payments being missed.

Deputy McGrath says the Minister needs to clarify his position as people are being left distressed.

“In the past 11 days, I have been inundated with emails and phone calls from worried Permanent TSB customers,” he said.

“Many of them have shared their own personal story with me. In addition to the 1,050 fully performing loans where no payments have been missed, it is clear that the portfolio also contains a very large number of restructured loans where the borrower is honouring the agreement.

“These loans are well on the road to being deemed as performing under regulatory rules. I have also been given the details of many examples where the bank was responsible for major delays in putting restructure solutions in place. These delays have resulted in some loans being unnecessarily included in the sale.

“We need to hear from Minister Donohoe. We need to know whether he has or intends to meet Permanent TSB about this loan sale. We need to know what views he will convey when he is formally consulted.

“We need to know whether he will be asking for the removal of performing loans and loans well on the road to being classified as performing. We need to know whether he has sought or received any assurances that Start Mortgages/Lone Star are willing to enter into new restructuring agreements with customers and if they will make themselves accountable to the Oireachtas Finance Committee.

These are some of the basic questions those affected by this proposed sale deserve to have answered by their government which is after all the largest shareholder in the bank and which will be asked for its view on the sale.

Digital Desk

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