Wednesday 21 March 2018

PTSB chief's turn to face the Oireachtas committee

Jeremy Masding, CEO of the Permanent TSB
Jeremy Masding, CEO of the Permanent TSB
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

PERMANENT TSB chief executive Jeremy Masding is due before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform today, the last banker to be scrutinised this week.

The chief executives of AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank have already answered questions on the mortgage arrears crisis over the past two days.

Mr Masding will be asked to update the committee on how his bank has dealt with its distressed mortgages. About 15.1pc of owner-occupier mortgages on PTSB’s books have been in arrears for 90 days or more, according to the bank, up from 13.7pc a year ago.

He will reveal whether or not the institution has provided “sustainable solutions” to at least a fifth of all customers in arrears, as required by the Central Bank.

The committee will likely focus on whether these “sustainable solutions” have included threatening legal letters sent to customers in arrears, threatening repossession. Questioning earlier this week revealed that Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and AIB all considered these letters to be sustainable solutions. As many as 13,000 have been sent out.

The rule was instead designed to force banks to provide long-term, reasonable solutions to distressed mortgage holders, like loan extensions, interest only deals or split mortgages.

The committee will also question Mr Masding’s position on split mortgages, after Bank of Ireland’s Richie Boucher insisted his bank would continue to charge interest on any “warehoused” portion of a split mortgage. Consumer groups have labelled this unfair and have advised borrowers not to sign any such deals.


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