Tuesday 18 September 2018

Banks may have colluded to 'steal' citizens' money during tracker mortgage scandal - Micheal Martin claims

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin Picture: Colin O'Riordan
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin Picture: Colin O'Riordan
John Downing

John Downing

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has accused the banks of “stealing citizens’ money” in the tracker mortgage scandal.

Mr Martin also urged the Government to carefully investigate whether there was “collusion” between the 11 lending banks to take away tracker mortgages from borrowers after recession hit.

“No credible explanation has been given as to how this happened in all of the banks at the same time,” Mr Martin told the Dáil.

The Fianna Fáil leader also argued that the Government had been very slow to react to the crisis and had only become active after there was major public controversy.

 “There is a sense of the Government standing by and putting the interests of the banks ahead of the interests of the public,” Mr Martin said.

Read More: Tracker mortgage scandal: Lenders to outline how cash will be paid back

Replying for the Government, Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, said the Government had devoted almost all of the ministers’ time at Monday night’s Cabinet meeting to the issue. 

He said the Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, had already met five bank executives and would report to the Dáil tomorrow on these meetings.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Mr Coveney said the Government would again meet to consider its next move if the banks’ response was not deemed adequate. He said there was a serious “cultural problem” in the Irish banks.

“The banks should be there to serve an economy and to serve a society as opposed to the other way around,” Mr Coveney said.

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