AIB has denied claims it is refusing to take part in a conciliation process involving residents of the Priory Hall apartment complex in Dublin.
Over the weekend, it was reported that the financial institution, along with Bank of Ireland, would not play in the role in the process being chaired by the former High Court president, Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan.
The mediation has been made possible by Dublin City Council’s decision to suspend its Supreme Court appeal against having to pay accommodation costs for 100 families living in Priory Hall.
Yesterday, AIB issued a statement in which it said: “A report that AIB has refused to take part in a conciliation process concerning Priory Hall residents is incorrect. AIB is supporting all customers in Priory Hall who have sought assistance from the bank. AIB is happy to engage fully with the new process.”
The bank has approximately 20 mortgages for properties in Priory Hall, a mixture of buy-to-let and primary residences.
However, Bank of Ireland is sticking by the position it outlined over the weekend.
“Bank of Ireland has been in contact with Priory Hall mortgage holders of BOI/ICS mortgages since the issue arose.
“Appropriate forbearance measures were agreed with customers. We are in contact with these customers to ensure that we offer appropriate support during this time.
“It is our policy always to work with customers in difficulty and we would encourage any customer to make early contact with us, particularly if their circumstances have changed. Each customer is assessed on an individual basis.”
Residents’ representative Graham Usher welcomed AIB’s decision.
“It is very positive for the process,” he said. “Between AIB and Bank of Ireland, they hold about half of the mortgages in Priory Hall. Hopefully the other banks will follow suit. The fact is that all of the stakeholders must come to the table to get an overarching solution. The banks have the biggest financial stake though obviously we have the most to lose individually.”
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