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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: A wide variety of financial entities are operational here in Ireland at present. Their oversight and management sits with the Central Bank. Were I to spend time engaging with every financial organisation in Ireland, I would not be able to fulfil other duties. While some of those organisations are subject to stringent ongoing scrutiny and regulation from the Central Bank, I judge it...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: They do not have that pathway and they certainly do not have it to me.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I am not aware of the origin of that figure but what has happened is that colleagues on the committee and those analysing this situation have extrapolated the amount of money that has been paid out against the number of people who have received it against the total number of people who have now been identified. While that process would get to a figure of between €800 million and...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: The two issues are separate and I will not accept them being conflated by the banks or other forces dealing with this matter. When we talk about the money relating to all of this, it is important that the Senator is clear about how I perceive this matter, which is that the people who are receiving money are receiving what was their own money in the first place. They should not have been...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Before I comment on the first part of what the Senator said to me, the short answer to her last question is that the Irish banking standards board, which the banks have indicated they want to move ahead with, will play a number of different roles. It will look at what are the correct ethical standards for our banks and how we can improve culture, set and champion good and best practice and...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Can I come back-----

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: No, it has not.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I will get more information and come back to the Senator. I was not aware of that until I saw it in a newspaper at the weekend.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I assure the Senator that the only entities that set tax policy are my Department and me. I was not aware of that idea. I was reminded of what it is a moment ago and I find it interesting that people are already talking about budget 2019 when we are only in the second week of the implementation of budget 2018. That idea was not presented to me. Other versions of that idea were presented...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: As I answer this question, I am not defending Ulster Bank. It is not my role to do that; it is a matter for the bank. According to the information I have received, it will take Ulster Bank longer than the other banks to conclude this process as a result of the systems it operates. That has been verified by the Central Bank. I want everybody, regardless of the institution with which they...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Yes. Formerly, public interest directors had a specific set of roles that they were meant to perform and they were tied into the emergency legislation that was then in place . I intend the Government to appoint these banks directors and they will have to meet the normal requirements of company law.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Yes, the Senator is correct. The reason we are making these appointments is that we have a certain share in these banks which allows us to put people on their boards.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Yes.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: In regard to the impact of the banks dealing with non-performing loans and how they would pass that on to their customers via rate reductions, so many variables would come into play that I am not in a position to answer. There are more non-performing loans in the Irish economy and our banks than is the case in other countries with which we would compare ourselves. The improvement of the...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I believe that their condition is positive and continues to improve as the prospects of the economy stabilise. As I said, I have met all of the CEOs and chairpersons of our existing banks. I have also met with banks that are not present in Ireland. As the prospects for the Irish economy have begun to stabilise at rates of growth that look positive, and as the kind of employment figures...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: It is a matter for any shareholder to decide when to divest their own shares. While it is helpful to hear the views of others, as Minister for Finance it is for me to take a recommendation to Government. Before last summer, I made such a recommendation on the disposal of more than a quarter of AIB. That proved to be a very successful floatation for AIB and a very positive transaction for...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I do not have that information. This may be information that the Governor of the Central Bank can provide. From my engagement on the matter since then, I have had a mixed experience of the issue. While I have always been very clear about the powers that are available to me and those that are not, I have heard some express a degree of satisfaction with the way in which the issue has been...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I am satisfied, and I expect that the deadlines I have set with the Central Bank on this issue will be met. I wish to make two concluding points. I will not be the person to make the adjudication on that; it will be the Central Bank. It will make an assessment on the issue and report back to me. I would be very cautious about expressing a view that collective resolution of the issue...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: There are two different parts to the Senator's question. On the work involved, the work has been described to me from both the point of view of the regulator and the point of view of the banks themselves. Many hundreds of people have been involved in doing this work. In many cases the work involved going through individual bank records of people to assess whether they had been affected by...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: No. It would have been done by the banks, but auditors would also have been involved.

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