IBF welcomes Law Reform Commission consultation paper on personal debt

Banks support alternatives to debtor imprisonment

IBF/MABS Protocol on Debt Management effective from 28 September

The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) welcomes the publication today of the Law Reform Commission’s (LRC) “Consultation Paper on Personal Debt Management and Debt Enforcement” and supports key recommendations in that report.

While sight of the detail of all of the recommendations must await their publication later today, the IBF is on record as supporting key recommendations as follows:
Development of an effective alternative to imprisonment for those who are unable to pay fines and civil debt
The IBF has long supported calls from the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) for a replacement for imprisonment; and IBF has in the past made representations to Government in this regard.

Development of a non-court-based system for dealing with personal debt

The IBF has developed with MABS the “IBF/MABS Protocol on Debt Management” which becomes fully operational on 28 September next. This Protocol enables IBF creditors and MABS money advisers to work together effectively to help personal customers/clients to address and manage debt problems and, using an agreed steps procedure, wherever possible, to formulate a mutually-acceptable, affordable and sustainable repayment plan. A copy of the IBF/MABS Operational Protocol: Working Together to Manage Debt is available here.

The regulation of debt collection agencies and of commercial debt advice agencies
The IBF believes that it is in the interests of both creditors and debtors to have sound practices ensured through effective regulation. The IBF looks forward to contributing constructively to the LRC’s consultation process and to continuing to work with MABS, FLAC and other stakeholders on the very important issue of debt management and enforcement.

Note: Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the leading representative body for the banking and financial services sector in Ireland, representing over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Further Information: Felix O’Regan, Head of PR and Public Affairs, IBF, tel. 6715311, 087 6481644