Opposition calls on vulture fund to outline its plans for thousands of PTSB mortgages

Permanent TSB is to sell loans worth €1.3bn to Start Mortgages

Opposition parties are calling on the vulture fund that purchased thousands of mortgages from Permanent TSB to outline its plans to the Oireachtas.

The bank has been facing criticism after it agreed to sell its controversial Project Glás portfolio for €1.3bn to Start Mortgages

The portfolio includes 3,300 buy-to-let properties and 7,400 private homes.

Fianna Fáil wants the fund to appear before the finance committee to explain how it will handle almost 11 thousand non-performing loans.

The firm's parent company has so far refused to appear before the Finance Committee.

Concern

Fianna Fáil Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said the fact that Start Mortgages is a regulated entity is welcome – but warned that homeowners will be ‘understandably concerned’ given its background as a sub-prime lender and because it is owned by US vulture fund Lone Star.

Lone Star has so far flatly refused to come before the Oireachtas.

He said the entity should come before the Oireachtas to “answer questions in relation to their strategy” and “their approach in relation to their strategy and their approach for dealing with these loans.”

“Will they now in fact enter into restructuring options, that up until now they have not been making available?

“That for me is a key question which the minister should insist that Start Mortgages are answering.”

Protections

Yesterday, PTSB chief Jeremy Masding said the bank will shortly be writing to account holders whose loans are included in the portfolio.

He said customers will be reminded that “when a loan is sold from one institution to another, the protections which are in place with the selling institution travel with the loan to the new owners."

The Taoiseach has insisted that upcoming legislation will ensure that vulture funds are “regulated much more so than they are now.”