Wednesday 19 December 2018

Permanent TSB boss accused of 'uncaring' attitude to customers

‘Lack of respect’: Permanent TSB chief executive Jeremy Masding. Picture: Collins
‘Lack of respect’: Permanent TSB chief executive Jeremy Masding. Picture: Collins
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

State-owned Permanent TSB stands accused of lacking care and respect for its customers following its big mortgage sell-off.

Chief executive Jeremy Masding was asked by the Oireachtas Finance Committee why his bank was selling family homes to vulture funds when both AIB and Bank of Ireland were not selling residential properties.

The bank was answering questions on the controversial sale of mortgages attached to 10,700 properties, which has been labelled Project Glas by Permanent TSB.

The loans are being sold to US fund Lone Star and its affiliate Start Mortgages.

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty accused the bank of being uncaring and lacking respect for its mortgage holders who are in financial difficulties.

He put a case to the bank of a customer who has cancer. She had gone without fuel to meet her repayments for 19 years, but was unable to keep making payments earlier this year.

Her arrears hit €1,800, but days after being told she had cancer the bank wrote to her to tell her mortgage was being sold to a vulture fund.

"What you are doing is wrong and no other bank is doing what you are doing. AIB is not selling family homes and Bank of Ireland is not selling family homes," he said.

TD John McGuinness accused the bank of "outsourcing its dirty work to a vulture fund". He said the bank should be working with customers in default to offer them solutions to their arrears problems.

Mr Masding defended the bank's decision to sell off non-performing loans - including 7,400 home mortgages - to a so-called vulture fund.

He said he had avoided repossessing properties, which would be much worse than selling the loans.

Irish Independent

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