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Banks 'do not have a veto' to block insolvency deals, insists Kenny

Enda Kenny denies that the personal insolvency legislation gives banks the chance to totally block any debt relief.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has denied that the new personal insolvency legislation gives banks an effective veto over any debt relief for struggling individuals.

Enda Kenny told the Dáil that the Personal Insolvency Act, which has been passed by the Oireachtas but not yet fully commenced, did not grant banks a veto over the rearrangement of an individual’s affairs.

“The banks have no veto over the insolvency legislation,” he said. “That’s why it’s an incentive for banks to sit down with clients and deal with their particular clients.”

The comments came ahead of a press event being held by Michael Noonan today, where a new programme encouraging banks to deal with customers in mortgage difficulty is to be unveiled.

“The government want to see a fair and a transparent process here for dealing with mortgages,” Kenny said.

“What we want to do is get the 100,000 people in mortgage arrears and distressed [...] psychological relief that their home is not being taken from them.”

Kenny was speaking after both Micheál Martin of Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams, criticised the government’s perceived inaction on the matter.

“Will there be independent oversight over the deals that the banks will strike with individuals?” Martin asked, complaining that 119 sections of the Personal Insolvency Act had yet to be activated.

Kenny said the Central Bank would have independent oversight over any arrangement reached between commercial lenders and ordinary borrowers.

Read: Kenny defends Government’s stance on dealing with mortgage arrears

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Gavan Reilly

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