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Sunday 17 November 2019

Writing off debt not BoI policy -- Boucher

Laura Noonan

BANK of Ireland has not yet waived any mortgage debt -- and doesn't see the need for any new scheme to help struggling customers, the bank's senior managers said yesterday.

The comments came in a wide-ranging appearance before the Finance Committee, where chief executive Richie Boucher admitted he had "had to learn a lot" from the financial crisis that enveloped Ireland's banks.

Mr Boucher, who headed up BoI's retail unit during the boom years, also endured sharp criticisms from several politicians about his performance, and his €690,000 salary.

Asked about his salary, Mr Boucher repeatedly declined to comment, to the thinly disguised frustration of some of the committee's public representatives.

On the subject of dealing with troubled mortgages, Mr Boucher insisted that debt write-off was "not a policy that we have".

And a colleague said that the bank had not yet waived any mortgage debt.

Several politicians asked Mr Boucher about his role in BoI's performance over the years that led it to need a state bailout. He said he had a "job to do".

"We are applying our understanding of what went wrong, and what we need to fix," he said.

Irish Independent

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