Belfast Telegraph

Finance Minister insists vulture funds will face strong regulation

Paschal Donohoe has vowed to look closely at opposition proposals.

The Government will ensure the strongest regulation possible will be put in place to protect homeowners whose home loans are purchased by vulture funds, the Finance Minister has said.

Millions of euro worth of mortgages are set to be sold by Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank in an effort to reduce the number of non-performing loans on their books.

Paschal Donohoe said he would consider Fianna Fail’s bill that seeks to regulate vulture funds.

“I will ensure through any changes that we need to make that we have the strongest regulation possible in place in those bills,” he said.

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Mr Donohoe said there has been a massive reduction in the number of non-performing loans in the country's banks (Niall Carson/PA)

Last week Ulster Bank became the second bank to announce a sale of distressed loans with 7,000 policies in arrears being offered.

It followed criticism of Permanent TSB’s decision to sell off loans linked to 14,000 private homes as part of a portfolio worth 3.7 billion euro.

Mr Donohoe said there has been a massive reduction in the number of non-performing loans in the country’s banks.

He described the current policy framework as robust and proportionate and added that he was willing to engage with anybody in the Dail who has good ideas regarding how laws could be strengthened further.

“I am deeply aware of the anxiety and concern that many loan owners and home owners feel about the matter,” Mr Donohoe said.

“I’m commited to making sure that the strong framework that we’ve had in place now over many years is maintained, it is strengthened.”

The party’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath called for laws to ensure that international investors are fully monitored by the Central Bank ahead of any loan portfolio sale.

Mr Donohoe said he would review the Fianna Fail bill to see how the Government could integrate some of the ideas into any new measures.

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