Monday 19 February 2018

Ryan's Review

Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

Woo hoo! We're finally seeing evidence of some split mortgage options being offered by banks to arrears customers, but my goodness, it's been slower than snail's pace.

A split 'warehouses' up to half the loan to be repaid (or not) at some future date, thus reducing the borrower's immediate repayments. It's one of the options banks must consider under the new Central Bank rules, which force them to offer "sustainable solutions" to half of those in arrears of 90 days or more. Excuse the inverted commas, but in my experience that means sustainable to the bank, rather than the borrower.

Unfortunately, it seems they're mainly being offered to, ahem, mature clients still in positive equity which is win-win for them. Those up to their oxters in debt will more likely be told to sell up . . . or 'voluntarily surrender' their home, in bank parlance.

PTSB says it has agreed options for 3,000 customers with another 2,000 in train. AIB says it made 8,600 offers in Q2 where it was only required to make 6,200 but only 153 of these were split mortgages. In fact, just 17 have actually been completed. Disraeli's quote on statistics comes to mind.

It includes 'interest only' as a solution. To whom, we wonder? In the absence of a capital write down, certainly not the customer, who is only long-fingering the same debt. Bank of Ireland says write downs are not in its bailiewick.

Ulster Bank, meanwhile, has employed 400 rent receivers to collar the buy-to-letters. Good news for the unemployment figs, and they're hoping to have 1,000 by year end. If that's the kind of thing that would look good on your CV.

On Twitter: @sinead_ryan

Irish Independent

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