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IBF welcomes establishment by Government of expert group on consumer debt

The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) welcomes the establishment by Government of an expert group to examine the issue of mortgage and consumer debt and to make appropriate policy recommendations.

The IBF also welcomes the opportunity to participate directly in the work of the group and looks forward to doing this in a positive and constructive manner. IBF already has a long-standing working relationship with a range of stakeholders in the development of debt management solutions for consumers. The positive output of this is most recently reflected in the following:

The IBF Pledge to Homeowners makes clear that legal action to repossess a home will not be commenced by IBF creditors provided the customer talks with the lender at the earliest opportunity so that a mutually-acceptable arrangement can be agreed, maintained and reviewed thereafter on a regular basis. An Oversight Committee involving representatives of MABS and IBF under the independent chairmanship of Prof. Martin O’Donoghue is monitoring the application of this Pledge.
The IBF/MABS Protocol on Debt Management enables IBF creditors and MABS money advisers to work together effectively to help personal customers to address and manage debt problems and, wherever possible, to formulate a mutually-acceptable, affordable and sustainable repayment plan.

The IBF supports key recommendations in the Law Reform Commission’s “Consultation Paper on Personal Debt Management and Debt Enforcement”, including:
The development of an effective alternative to imprisonment for those who are unable to pay fines and civil debt
The development of a non-court-based system for dealing with personal debt
The regulation of debt collection agencies and of commercial debt advice agencies.

“These and other initiatives are helping tens of thousands of consumers to work with their lenders in managing their mortgage and other debt repayments through these very challenging times. And we are fully committed to working with all key stakeholders in continuing to make this happen”, states Pat Farrell, IBF Chief Executive.

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.

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

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