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Banks exceeding arrears targets, but some customers have "no clarity"

The Central Bank says that there is no “tangible evidence” that some customers’ circumstances are improving.

Image: Freer via Shutterstock

THE SIX BANKS that have been set targets to engage with their mortgage customers who are in arrears are a cumulative 13 per cent ahead of target.

That is according to new figures released today by the Central Bank.

The Central Bank has set six Irish lenders: AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, Ulster Bank, ACC Bank and KBC Bank, a target of having offered mortgage arrears solutions to 30 per cent of their customers by the end of the third quarter of this year.

The figures show that the banks are at 43 per cent of their customers, as of the end of September.

In an audit of the Quarter Two results, however, the Central Bank found problems with how the banks were engaging with customers.

Key issues identified include short-term loan modifications were proposed in some cases where there was:

  • no tangible evidence of a borrower’s circumstances improving
  • no clarity on the ultimate long-term solution;
  • an absence of requisite information, such as verification of borrower income or property value; and
  • a lack of evidence of legal follow up in cases counted under legal heading.

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The Central Bank’s director of credit institutions Fiona Muldoon said the figures showed signs of progress in tackling the problem.

“We are now starting to see some signs of progress in addressing the significant issue of mortgage arrears.

We expect that lenders will continue to progress and develop their approaches to ensure that future sustainability targets will be achieved. With indications the banks are now offering long term sustainable solutions to customers, the Central Bank continues to encourage meaningful engagement between lenders and borrowers.

Read: Banks brought 2,300 legal proceedings against mortgage holders in Q3

Read: Number of mortgage accounts in arrears FELL last quarter

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