Thursday, 18 February 2021
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
I thank the Tánaiste. We recognise that there are protections there, including for mortgage holders. However, if these loans fall into the hands of vulture funds, there could, upon review of those mortgages, be significant consequences for borrowers. I also recognise that this is a decision for NatWest and that it is outside the control of Government. However, if the decision is taken tomorrow, which seems to be the direction of travel that this has been on for quite a period of time, there is a responsibility on Government to act, as the Tánaiste says, to protect borrowers, customers and staff, protect the footprint of our banking sector and also protect competition within the sector.
I ask the Tánaiste to ensure that, after tomorrow's decision, there is an immediate engagement with the finance committee and Opposition spokespersons and that the Government lay before us an options paper as to how we can utilise our majority State-owned shareholding in our banks to try to achieve the objectives which I think everybody in the House shares, namely, to protect customers, business owners, mortgage holders, staff and our banking sector.