Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Photo of Niamh SmythNiamh Smyth (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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305. To ask the Minister for Finance if correspondence from a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; the steps he will take to engage with the mortgage provider on the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44468/20]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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The Deputy may wish to note that, when a loan is sold or transferred, the protections that were available to borrowers prior to the transaction continue to be in place with the new loan owner. This ensures that borrowers whose loans are sold or transferred maintain the same regulatory protections, including under the various Central Bank’s statutory codes of conduct such as the Consumer Protection Code 2012 and the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears 2013 (CCMA).

This consumer protection framework requires lenders to be transparent and fair in all their dealings with borrowers and that borrowers are protected from the beginning to the end of the mortgage life cycle. In particular, it can be noted that the Central Bank has introduced of a number of particular measures for variable rate mortgage holders. The enhanced measures, which are provided for in an Addendum to the Consumer Protection Code 2012, require lenders to explain to borrowers how their variable interest rates have been set, including in the event of an increase. The measures also improve the level of information required to be provided to borrowers on variable rates about other mortgage products their lender provides which could provide savings for the borrower and signpost the borrower to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s (CCPC) mortgage switching tool () which provides information on mortgage interest rates charged by other lenders.

Within the above framework, the interest rates charged on a loan remains a commercial matter for the lender or loan owner within the terms of the agreement as agreed with the borrower and neither I, as Minister for Finance, nor the Central Bank has a role in such commercial and contractual matters.


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