Sinn Féin TD for Roscommon/Galway Claire Kerrane has accused banks of planning to profit from the Covid-19 pandemic and described their conduct as “outrageous”.
She has called on the Central Bank and the Minister for Finance to step in and force banks to step up to the plate at a time of national emergency.
Deputy Kerrane said: “Despite repeated promises from banks of a payment holiday for customers at a time of national emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, they have refused to ensure that mortgage interest will not accrue for those who can’t make mortgage payments because of financial difficulties.
“This means, for example, that people with a €200,000 mortgage will pay close to €2,000 more over the lifetime of their mortgage.
“This is how banks are intending to profit out of this crisis and this is, quite frankly, outrageous”.
Deputy Kerrane said that Sinn Féin wants the Central Bank and the banks called in by the Government in order to stop this.
“I have been in contact with the Minister for Finance and the Central Bank in relation to this matter.
“The fact that banks are already charging twice the average EU interest rates for mortgages is indicative of their attitude to customers and illustrates that banking culture has not changed”.
The local TD said that the banks need to step up now and waive all interest during the period of emergency for those who have trouble paying their mortgage – “rather than shamefully trying to profit on the back of it”.