Business Irish

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Society struggles with its home-loan arrears

Laura Noonan

IRISH Nationwide yesterday admitted that more than one in four of its mortgage customers are in arrears by more than 90 days, giving the embattled building society by far the worst performance of any lender.

The arrears level across Nationwide's 15,000 mortgage holders now stands at 27pc -- against an industry average of just 6.3pc. Arrears are running at 42pc in Nationwide's €500m buy-to-let book, and 22pc amongst homeowners who owe €1.4m.

The bailed-out building society responded to the deterioration in repayments by taking €166m of impairments on its home loans portfolio and another €121m worth on investment property.

Nationwide chief executive Gerry McGinn said there were a "lot of characteristics" about the building society which made it more "vulnerable" to the mortgage crisis than its peers.

Nationwide's borrowers include many workers in the construction sector and the self-employed, two categories that have been very hard hit by the recession.

"I don't believe it [mortgage lending] got a lot of management attention -- commercial lending was the focus [of the old Nationwide management]," added Mr McGinn, who joined the bailed-out building society in 2009.

Irish Independent

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