Nama-Beag set up to represent indebted families
'10,000 people can put the fear of God into banks; 30,000 will bring down a government'
Published 18/04/2010 | 05:00
A LAND League-style lobby group has been set up to represent Irish householders and families impacted by the financial fallout from the banking crisis and the creation of the government 'bad bank', Nama.
The new lobby group, Nama-Beag -- the brainchild of solicitor Andrew Dillon -- was officially unveiled in Co Cork and its task will be to protect families, pensioners and small savers from home repossessions or sanctions by banks because of outstanding debts and mortgages.
Nama-Beag will initially compile a database of people facing action by banks over outstanding debts -- and will co-ordinate an advisory service with direct intervention with the financial institution on behalf of the householder if necessary.
"Unfortunately, our own Government and its developer pals have simply replaced the historical British landlord, aided and abetted by the criminal bankers. For bankers read bailiff," Mr Dillon said. "Now it is the bankers who will evict you from your home for non-payment of an iniquitous mortgage.
"One person on his own will find it virtually impossible to find the funds or to countenance taking on or defending a legal action against a large and powerful financial institution. But 10,000 people working together will, on the other hand, put the fear of God into the bank.
"Thirty thousand people working together and with their friends will bring down a government. That is strength in numbers," Mr Dillon added.
The new organisation aims to provide help for financially hit householders, and offer an advisory service for people facing action by banks over debt problems.
They also aim to support householders and taxpayers to fight unfair debt penalties or foreclosures.
Meanwhile, Jerry Beades, the controversial Fianna Fail activist who is chairman of Friends of Banking Ireland lobby group, has spoken unofficially to the the new Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield. He said the reception he got in an off-the-cuff meeting was "very different from his predecessor Patrick Neary".
In November 2008 Mr Beades asked Mr Neary outside the Dail Committee rooms why he was not investigating the overcharging of customers and the theft of money from customers' accounts. Mr Neary's reaction was to click his fingers and call security to have Mr Beades removed.
Mr Beades, three weeks ago, also had a meeting with the new governor of the Central Bank. The main issue Friends of Banking has been pursuing is the fact that the regulator, when he is given a complaint, cannot come back and report the findings of his investigations, or if he has investigated it at all.
Friends of Banking regard this issue as unconstitutional, as the banks are protected with secrecy, yet the customer has to go to court and expose themselves to huge costs and also to have their private affairs put into the court process and out into the public domain.