independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Bankers believe in a jobs fairy

BANKERS are nothing if not optimists. Take their approach to troubled residential and buy-to-let mortgages.

There are some 217,000 mortgage accounts – both residential and investor – that are either in arrears or have had to have the repayments restructured.

This crisis has been building now for five years.

Yet the bankers have sat on their hands, and hoped that some fairy would wave a magic wand and economic growth would return, leading to job creation.

No such jobs fairy exists, and banks are now facing the unpleasant reality of actually having to do deals with debt-ravaged householders and investors.

Yesterday the bankers came out with a new bit of optimism. Whether this latest piece of positivism is misplaced or not, only time will tell.

The Irish Banking Federation launched a data set showing that 1,677 people got letters from their banks in October telling them they have been offered a mortgage.

This is 10pc higher than the number of home loans approved in September this year.

Banking Federation chief Pat Farrell thinks this, and recent figures on actual mortgage drawdowns, point to a pick-up in the property lending market.

Whether he is spinning on behalf of his bank members, or there is a tentative recovery, will become evident next year.

Then there is likely to be no more mortgage tax relief for buyers, and we will have a property tax, both of which may turn buyers off.

Irish Independent

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