Mortgage arrears remain one of the most important issues in Ireland says Central Bank

Mortgage arrears remain one of the most important issues in Ireland says Central Bank

The Central Bank’s ‘whistleblower’ regime is working well – individuals should continue to come forward where they have concerns regarding behaviours or actions in financial services firms, according to the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Ed Sibley.
Speaking at a MABS Conference, Sibley praised the work of MABS and outlined how the Central Bank’s different responsibilities connect to build financial resilience and how this protects consumers. He highlighted that much of the financial system is working well, but there are key areas including in insurance and the mortgage market that were not operating as well as they should.  

He emphasised the Central Bank’s commitment to serving the public good by continuing to drive improvements in the functioning of the financial system – such that it better serves the needs of consumers and the Irish economy.

Mr Sibley highlighted the importance of individuals working in financial services taking action when they become aware of issues in how firms and their management are behaving.  He outlined that 165 protected disclosures were made to the Central Bank in the previous year, and described the Central Bank’s actions taken on the foot of the reports. 
At the conference, Sibley claimed there has been considerable progress in resolving mortgage arrears. However, he said more than 10 years since the first waves of the financial crisis started buffeting Ireland, and six years since the peak of non-performing loans in Ireland, there are still serious problems with mortgage arrears in Ireland.

Deputy Governor Sibley said the Central Bank’s approach to mortgage arrears resolution is focused on ensuring the fair treatment of borrowers through a strong consumer protection framework while ensuring lenders have appropriate arrears resolution strategies and operations in place.
Commenting on the overall resilience of the financial system, Deputy Governor Sibley said, "The Central Bank does not have a zero-risk appetite for failure.  In fact, we expect some firms to fail, as they are all in the business of taking risk. We take a proportionate approach to seeking to reduce the risk and impact of failure, such that the risks to financial stability and the impacts on firm’s customers are reduced, and that failure can be managed."