Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Photo of Maureen O'SullivanMaureen O'Sullivan (Dublin Central, Independent)
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174. To ask the Minister for Finance if any guidelines are in place in the new mortgage regulations for correct procedures with dealing with persons or a person who are refused mortgages because of mental health issues; in view of the State having played such a role in keeping banks solvent, his views that Government should play a bigger role in ensuring that persons who qualify through credit and monetary criteria, should not be refused based on mental health issues for which they are receiving treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46935/14]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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Credit decisions are commercial matters for individual financial institutions. However, the Deputy should note that the Central Bank of Ireland's Consumer Protection Code 2012 (CPC) contains important protections for the consumers of financial services (including borrowers), by imposing 'Knowing the Consumer and Suitability' requirements on regulated financial institutions.  In particular, Provision 3.1 of the CPC details how a financial institution should deal with vulnerable customers (as identified in the CPC). In particular where a regulated entity has identified that a personal consumer is a vulnerable consumer, the regulated entity must ensure that the vulnerable consumer is provided with such reasonable arrangements and/or assistance that may be necessary to facilitate him or her in his or her dealings with the regulated entity.

Furthermore, chapter 5 of the CPC sets out requirements in relation to 'knowing the customer and suitability' prior to offering, recommending, arranging or providing a product or service to a consumer.  The level of information gathered should be appropriate to the nature of the particular product and must include details of the consumers' needs and objectives from the product or service, their personal circumstances, their financial situation and their attitude to risk. 

The CPC also sets out procedures for errors and complaints resolution and if a consumer is dissatisfied about the way a regulated entity has handled their particular case a complaint can be taken under these provisions.


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