Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Finance
Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears Breaches
117. To ask the Minister for Finance if all banks should adhere to the Central Bank code of conduct on mortgage arrears; the action taken by the regulator if a bank is found not to be following this code of conduct; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9088/19]
121. To ask the Minister for Finance the position regarding the decision of a bank (details supplied) in respect to the Central Bank code of conduct on mortgage arrears; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9140/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 and 121 together.
The Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) forms part of the Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Framework. It is a statutory Code first introduced by the Central Bank in February 2009, with the current CCMA becoming effective from 1 July 2013.
The CCMA provides a strong consumer protection framework, requiring relevant firms to ensure borrowers in arrears or pre-arrears in respect of a mortgage loan secured on a primary residence are treated in a timely, transparent and fair manner and that due regard is had to the fact that each case of mortgage arrears is unique and needs to be considered on its own merits. The CCMA recognises that it is in the interests of borrowers and regulated firms to address financial difficulties as speedily, effectively and sympathetically as circumstances allow.
The CCMA is a statutory code issued under Section 117 of the Central Bank Act 1989 and must be complied by all regulated entities as a matter of law. The Central Bank can take action against a regulated entity which does not comply with the CCMA (for example by imposing a direction on such entity or taking enforcement action under the Central Bank’s Administrative Sanctions Procedure).