Social Democrats call for government to block sale of mortgages to vulture funds

February 19, 2018

The Social Democrats have called on the Minister for Finance to intervene to block the sale of Permanent TSB mortgages to unregulated vulture funds.

The party’s co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said:

“This bank is 75 per cent owned by the State and the Minister for Finance must do what he can to protect homeowners by halting the sale of its loan book to unregulated and largely unaccountable private equity or hedge funds.

“It is wrong and unacceptable for the State as a major bank shareholder to stand by while Permanent TSB effectively outsources repossessions of people’s homes. There is clearly a moral obligation to step in and prevent the sale of these 20,000 mortgages.

Deputy Murphy added:

“The devastating impact on families of having their mortgages hived off to overseas funds cannot be underestimated. If emergency legislation is needed to fix this problem, then the Minister should bring this before the Dáil without delay. In the meantime, the funds should be instructed to give mortgage-holders the right to buy their loans for the same price that is being offered to the vulture funds.

“The official pandering of government to private funds runs against the interests of ordinary borrowers. Families stand to lose their homes as a result of this move and yet the government is allowing vulture funds to continue to maximise their take on rent and also get preferential treatment under our tax laws. The overly-generous tax treatment of these funds is an issue that I will be raising this week at the Public Accounts Committee.”

ENDS

19 February 2018