Sunday 23 October 2016

Government attempts to tackle excessive interest rates are 'a flop' – Micheal Martin

Taoiseach accuses FF of letting 'banks ruin the country'

Published 01/07/2015 | 12:43

Micheál Martin
Micheál Martin

Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s efforts to have banks cut variable mortgage interest rates were today dubbed "a flop and a failure".

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Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin said the deadline for bank action is today, July 1. And of the six banks, only two had given any kind of minimal response.

Mr Martin said state-owned AIB had cut rates by 0.25pc and KBC bank offered “something convoluted.” But Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank had done nothing.

“The banks have told you where to go - and they have told the Minister where to go,” Mr Martin said.

The Fianna Fáil leader said the Government should now bring in a law to tackle interest rates and his party had already tabled draft legislation in the Dáil.

But the Taoiseach rounded on Mr Martin and said when he was in Government they failed in every way to deal with the banks.

“You allowed the banks do what they liked and ruin the economy,” Mr Kenny said.

“I do not accept that the initiative taken by Minister Noonan was a failure. I think it is  a work in progress,” the Taoiseach responded.

Mr Kenny said the Central Bank had been offered legal powers on interest rates if required and dialogue would continue with the banks. He said the banks were introducing new mortgage products to respond to customer need.

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