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Creighton should advocate for those in mortgage arrears

As the banking inquiry winds its weary way on interrogating those it deems to be responsible for the financial chaos that developed during the dying days of the last Fianna Fail Government, it is managing to elicit from those concerned how lax the controls were on lending large sums of money to individuals whether it was for mortgages or other ventures.

The applicant for the loan made his application more in hope than in certainty, many applicants for loans were ordinary people, not highly educated and were relying on the honesty, responsibility and intelligence of the lender sitting opposite them for guidance.

The prospective borrower would and should expect to be scrutinised thoroughly. If the lender is responsible and if his scrutiny reveals that the applicant is seeking to borrow way beyond his capacity to repay in the long term, he should have warned the applicant and refused the granting of the loan. But this didn’t happen. Bank headquaraters had sizeable loan targets that they wanted met.

And in lots of cases the size of the commission swayed judgement. Therefore he gave no thought to the misery he was about to create for future generations. The reckless lending spree benefited lots of people who pocketed huge sums of money and who, even when the bottom fell out of the economy, had their debts taken into a bad bank.

I am writing this letter because I feel the banking inquiry is targeting the wrong level of people who can duck and weave their escape. There are hordes of wronged people out there who have stories to tell and who could expose at source how easy it was to borrow and how genuine their collateral was at the time of loan applicaton.

Was the prospective lender really informed how easy it would be for the lender to take action should he fall behind with his payment?

I am convinced that those people who have lost their homes, or are in the process of doing so, could be organised and mobilised by a good leader. Perhaps Lucinda Creighton? She should organise a group of the best of them and sue the bankers who granted them the loans in the first place. It will be easier to produce the evidence of wrong advice at that level. Those bankers or lenders were responsible to senior bank management and if you prove wrongdoing and failure to exercise responsibility at the lower level, the top will tumble. Keep the politicians out of it.

Richard Prendergast



Co Cork


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