'We need to be consistent': Mortgage lending during pandemic needs clarification, consumer expert says

'We need to be consistent': Mortgage lending during pandemic needs clarification, consumer expert says
Mr Burgess says consistency is critical.

The Taoiseach and Public Expenditure Minister are 'wrong' to express concerns of banks lending policies to those on Covid-19 state supports, according to a consumer expert.

The comments come after AIB have paused all mortgage applications for people on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, while Permanent TSB needs assurance from an employer before allowing customers to draw down a loan.

Some institutions, such as Bank of Ireland, are looking at applications on a case-by-case basis.

After Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said banks should honour current contracts, Brendan Burgess from AskAboutMoney.com says the government needs a consistent stance.

Mr Burgess says: "We criticised the banks, and we were right to criticise them, for reckless lending.

"Now we are criticising them for avoiding reckless reckless lending. We need to be consistent on this and we need to be consistent over a long period.

"Not just over a couple of days or a couple of weeks. We should learn the lessons from the last crisis that we had."

Mr Burgess's comments come as the New Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has said he will ensure that Rebuilding Ireland home loan mortgages are not paused because of the pandemic.

Responding to a question on Newstalk Breakfast, Mr O’Brien said he did not know if such loans were affected, but he was going to discuss the issue with officials in his department.

A Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is a government-backed mortgage for first time buyers, available from a local authority. It can be used to purchase a new or second-hand property or for self-build and provides up to 90% of the market value of the property.

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