Government to support Fianna Fáil bill to regulate vulture funds

Minister Paschal Donohoe said the bill needs significant re-drafting

Government to support Fianna Fáil bill to regulate vulture funds

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, 06-12-2017. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Updated: 15.00

The Government will support a Fianna Fáil bill to regulate vulture funds.

However Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said it needs significant re-drafting to have the desired effects.

He has also instructed the Central Bank to review their Code of Conduct on mortgages that are in arrears.

Minister Donohoe said they will be working to ensure there is more regulation around vulture funds.

"I want to ensure that all mortgage owners are protected, that they're fairly treated.

"And while this change is underway on behalf of some of our banks that everybody is treated as fairly as is possible, and the level of concern that people do have on this matter is recognised by me and understood - and it is".

Two major banks have announced plans to sell off a combined 25,000 non-performing mortgages this year.

Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank are both moving forward with the sales despite fears the loans will end up in the hands of so-called vulture funds.

Fianna Fáil had urged the Government to advise the banks against the sale – and is demanding support for legislation that would ensure that any fund purchasing loans would face full Central Bank regulations.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath warned that there are likely to be further loan sell-offs announced in the coming months.

On Monday however, Bank of Ireland said it has 'zero plans' to buy or sell mortgages in arrears.

The bank released its annual results for the past year - showing it made an underlying profit of just over €1bn.

Additional reporting: Sean Defoe