Wednesday 24 January 2018

Central Bank boss does little to allay our fears

THE real travesty at the heart of the mortgage arrears crisis afflicting some 100,000 Irish families is that suggested remedies are long on promise and short on delivery. Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan said as much yesterday as he conceded that the banks were engaging in some "wishful thinking" and hoping that the crisis will somehow resolve itself. He spoke of "a belief that many cases will cure themselves, even without energetic action by the lenders".

Prof Honohan's words to the Oireachtas Finance Committee might be decoded to sound like a modified version of a 2002 general election slogan that many of us would wish to forget. The modified summation might now read: "Not so much done – a heck of a lot to do."

The Central Bank boss, in typically forthright form, told the TDs and senators that things are still not moving as quickly as he would like. But he held out the promise that the banks can pick up the pace. "The indications are that the process is working, momentum is building, but there is some way to go," he summed up.

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