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TD calls on banks to be "more humane and compassionate" with borrowers

Michael McGrath said he hears frequently of cases of suicide in which financial pressures were to the fore.

Fianna Fail Finance Spokesman, Michael McGrath.
Fianna Fail Finance Spokesman, Michael McGrath.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

FIANNA FÁIL TD Michael McGrath has urged the banks to be “more humane and compassionate” in dealing with distressed borrowers.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday, the party’s finance spokesperson said a number of people involved in business, who have commercial loans or have invested in property have told him about the “enormous pressure” the banks are putting on them.

“Unfortunately, I frequently hear of cases of suicide in which financial pressures were to the fore and the role of the banks has been brought to my attention,” he said.

“They are putting individuals and families under incredible pressure and in many cases there is a genuine inability to pay.”

He called on the banks to show more compassion “because behind the loan account on the computer screen is an individual and a family”.

McGrath said that the people supported the banks and “it is time for hem to treat people fairly and with a degree of dignity”.

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The Fianna Fáil TD was speaking during a debate on extending the time frame of the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act of 2010 which gives the government the power to appoint directors to banking boards, enforce pay caps for new employees, etc. The legislation is due to expire at the end of this year but Michael Noonan wanted it extended to 2014.

After it was put to a vote, the motion passed 85 to 28 with McGrath voting for the motion.

Read: AIB says ‘substantial progress’ made on restructuring>

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