Thursday 17 January 2019

No repeat of eviction, say TDs who met KBC bosses

Mattie McGrath: The TD staged a seven-hour sit in at a KBC branch. Photo: Frank McGrath
Mattie McGrath: The TD staged a seven-hour sit in at a KBC branch. Photo: Frank McGrath

David Chance

The Independent TDs who met with representatives of KBC Bank believe there will be no repeat approach taken in the Roscommon eviction in which the McGann family was forcibly removed from their house by a security firm.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said they believe they have secured an agreement in which the bank would take a different approach.

"We took part in the peaceful protest in December in order to receive assurances from the KBC CEO, Wim Verbraeken, that senior management would meet with us to discuss our concerns. Happily, we achieved that outcome," he said ahead of the meeting.

Deputies McGrath, Carol Nolan and Michael Collins were the three TDs who met with three senior bank executives.

A KBC spokesman described the meeting as one in which the bank listened "carefully to their concerns" and said it was committed to treating customers in financial difficulties "in a fair and respectful manner".

The meeting was arranged after the three TDs staged a sit-in in a KBC bank branch for seven hours before Christmas.

The TDs also raised the issue of high mortgage interest costs here, which far outstrip those in much of the rest of the European Union.

This issue was also addressed by European Central Bank Governor Mario Draghi when he appeared before the Oireachtas Finance Committee in November of last year.

Mr Draghi described the mortgage market here as a "monopoly" which pushed up costs.

Central Bank of Ireland data shows that €2.34bn of mortgages on family homes are over 720 days past due.

Irish Independent

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