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

Paschal Donohoe: No. This is a part of a concern I had in the second half of last year. The figures for those who were affected by this issue had to be agreed by the Central Bank. When the figures were presented to the Central Bank, it ultimately decided if the figure was too low. That involved the Central Bank looking at the audit trails, its own staff engaging with the staff of the four banks and then...

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

Paschal Donohoe: I am confident we will know the full answer to that question in March when the Central Bank reports back to me with its final adjudication on the numbers of people affected. Regarding my confidence on the figure now, it is possible the figure will increase. However, I do not believe it will increase to the extent that it increased between March and December last year. While it may change,...

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

Paschal Donohoe: That is a matter for the Central Bank. Clearly, a numerical fact that will kick in is that the quantity of activity in which these banks were engaged is a fraction of the activity of the other banks. The root causes of it and any company-specific causes are a matter for the Central Bank to draw conclusions.

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

Paschal Donohoe: We will when I have completed this process.

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

Paschal Donohoe: It varies by bank depending on what is our relationship with the bank. I will come back to the Senator with the numbers of vacancies, per bank, that we are looking to fill.

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

Paschal Donohoe: Yes, but the additional layer is the responsibilities they have due to the activities of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, SSM. There are very rigorous responsibilities that they have to fulfil. I look forward to appointing people to do this work who will be independent and challenging directors.

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

Paschal Donohoe: That is correct.

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

Paschal Donohoe: My Department is provided with minutes of the board meetings due to the relationship framework we have agreed with the banks. The shareholder management unit of the Department of Finance receives the minutes. I do not see a copy of them myself.

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

Paschal Donohoe: The banks in which we have shareholdings.

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

Paschal Donohoe: No, it does not. I want to make sure that I am clear on the bank to which the Chairman is referring. Did the Chairman refer to the Central Bank?

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

Paschal Donohoe: No, I do not receive-----

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

Paschal Donohoe: Those commercial banks-----

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

Paschal Donohoe: -----share the minutes of their board meetings with the shareholder management unit of my Department but I do not see them.

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

Paschal Donohoe: The unit examines them. In truth, if there are any issues relating to the banks that are important to me as Minister, they are flagged to me, even in advance of them being discussed at board meetings.

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

Paschal Donohoe: No. I have engaged in this matter to look at how we have managed our relationship with the banks. If one looks at the engagement we have had with the boards of the banks through the minutes that are shared with me, it did not give an indication of the kind of evolution of this issue we are now seeing.

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

Paschal Donohoe: I hope the Chairman will not mind me saying that I am certain, and am aware, that if there had been an indication of this issue developing and if it had been discussed at the boards and recorded in the minutes of the boards, it would have been alerted to me by my Department.

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

Paschal Donohoe: No. My Department is satisfied that the board papers we receive record the issues that are discussed in the board meetings.

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

Paschal Donohoe: I have engaged with the chief executives and the chairpersons of the banks in the way that the Chairman is aware of. I am confident that at a leadership level, there is a commitment from the banks to make sure that their organisations have a culture that is fit for purpose and that reflects what we should have learned from the past and gives us all the best prospects of a better collective...

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

Paschal Donohoe: When I have engaged on this matter with the banks, I have met individuals who are charged with those kind of duties in the banks where their job is to speak up for the consumer and to speak up in those instances where there is a tension between the right thing to do in the short term and the right thing to do in the long term. I have met individuals who are doing that work in the banks...

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

Paschal Donohoe: Definitely.

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