Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that banks involved in the manipulation of tracker mortgage applications have clearly engaged in predatory and ruthless behaviour. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he raised the issue during Leaders Questions in the Dáil:
“I believe it is absolutely vital that we fully expose this latest example of reprehensible behaviour from the Irish banking sector.
Tens of thousands of families have endured appalling misery at the hands of these institutions and it has to stop.
What is also deeply disturbing about this level of institutional misappropriation is that that it reveals where the real centres of power lie in this state.
We might like to think that the Oireachtas is where authority resides.
But that position is now being seen for what it is, an increasingly obvious lie.
When scandals like these happen, those who are really in control are fully revealed.
The so called pillar banks and others, seem to have a free hand to do as they wish, when they wish.
The attitude very much appears to be, If people and families lose their homes; tough luck.
If families lose loved ones through suicide and the stress of trying to meet mortgage repayments; that is their own tough luck.
If children must endure the pain of seeing their parents tormented by debt then that is their own fault.
This is the kind of attitude that lies at the heart of our banking culture.
It is rotten, and what is worse, it appears that all regulatory attempts to get rid of it have utterly failed. Criminal sanctions must be considered as part of our response.
The bankers know from experience that the best strategy is simply to wait this one out.
The danger is that once the huffing and puffing and the tough talk of government die down it will be a return to business as usual.
That simply cannot be allowed to happen if we are at all serious about protecting families from further ruthless manipulation,” concluded Deputy McGrath.