Banks met and surpassed new mortgage arrears targets, says Noonan

21 November 2013 01:21

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Banks met and surpassed new mortgage arrears targets, says Noonan

The state's six main lenders had to have sustainable solutions for 30pc of mortgages in arrears of more than 90 days on their books by the end of September, rising to 50pc by the end of the year and 70pc by the end of next March.

"Lenders have now submitted their end September returns to the Central Bank and have indicated that they have met and in some cases exceeded the 30pc end of September target," Mr Noonan told the Dail.

Mr Noonan said that, as of the end of June, 79,357 mortgages on private homes had been restructured, with more than 60,000 deemed to be meeting terms of their agreement.

He said data from the Department of Finance shows that the number of mortgages in long term arrears at the end of September had fallen to 81,156 – down 1,468.

The decline in the number of people unable to pay their mortgage comes as the economy begins to gradually pick up and banks reach agreements with borrowers to restructure loans.

But Mr Noonan said legal threats to homeowners was not a sustainable solution under the mortgage arrears targets process and should only be considered after all other solutions have been exhausted.

"It's true that quite a number of mortgages are in arrears. The banks are moving systematically through them now to ensure that proposals are made to each mortgage holder and that sustainable restructuring takes place," he said.

"People continue to live in their own homes despite the mortgage arrears which is the primary policy objective."

Mr Noonan said officials are engaging with the troika to discuss ways of funding loss-making bank tracker mortgages.

"Discussions to date have mainly focused on examining the tracker books of the domestic banks and on the implications that alternative funding costs will have on the loan books and the profitability of the banks in questions," he said.

"Discussions have been exploratory in nature and further analysis is being carried out."


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